On Friday, September 25th, 2015, Southland Transportation hosted a mock disaster training seminar for its bus drivers. The day consisted of two hours of classroom training, slideshows of real-life incidents, and a two hour live mock disaster where the bus drivers participated in various emergency scenarios.
20 Students from Cold Lake High School’s drama program did a fantastic job portraying injured students in the mock demonstration, where a flipped bus with an open roof served as a stage for those in attendance and as the setting for the driver’s participating in the exercise.
Terry Kosabeck with Kosabeck Consulting Services, from Camrose, lead the mock demonstration and provided three scenarios, in each scenario there was a driver, two supervisors, four bystanders, and 20 “injured” students. The exercise played out much like it would in real-life, the driver would call a mock 911 number that would route them to a dispatcher. The dispatcher would take the information and volunteers from the Cold Lake ambulance service would arrive after a true-to-life duration of time. When the ambulance would arrive the scenario would be done and Kosabeck would evaluate how the driver, supervisors, and bystanders reacted to the situation. The three scenarios were a head-on collision with a semi-truck, the bus being T-boned by a semi-truck and catching fire, and a student attacking another causing the driver to hit the ditch and roll, the student continued the attack after the bus crashed and the driver was required to restrain the attacker while making sure the other students were safe. In each scenario the participants were told they performed very well and given great feedback. The drivers from Southland were extremely engaged and eager to learn.
This is the first time Southland Transportation has participated in a mock demonstration. The bus company expanded this year, nearly doubling its size, from 36 routes to 65. The company services Northern Lights School Division and Lakeland Catholic School District in Bonnyville and Cold Lake, as well as Art Smith Aviation Academy and Ecole Voyageur in Cold Lake and the St. Lina School. Southland also took on the City of Cold Lake’s transit service this year. Drivers are made up of parents and grandparents, so there’s an added care to their services and their attention to the demonstration. They understand the magnitude of a disaster such as the ones they were playing out.