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Area Bus Drivers Attend Active Shooter Preparedness Training
Area Bus Drivers Attend Active Shooter Preparedness Training—
Oneonta, NY - Bus drivers from across the region gathered in Oneonta on Friday for a day of
specialized training. The event was organized by DCMO BOCES in partnership with ONC
BOCES, and drew over 150 bus drivers and aides from 14 school districts. The day was
anchored by the Active Shooter Preparedness Training sessions, with additional sessions on
Mandated Reporter Training and “Stop The Bleed” emergency training for serious bleeding, both
taught by staff from DCMO BOCES Health and Safety team.
According to Jason Lawrence, Health and Safety Coordinator at DCMO BOCES and organizer
of the training day, the idea for the event came from conversations among the component school
districts of DCMO BOCES and ONC BOCES. “Most districts wanted active shooter
preparedness training,” he said, and there was also a real interest in “training for all the districts
on one day,” in one centralized location. Lawrence saw an opportunity to help the districts
complete the state-required Mandated Reporter training for bus drivers and aides, and plans for
the day quickly took shape.
The day’s activities took place at the Quality Inn in Oneonta, and included classroom training
inside for all three of the subject areas. The highlight, though, was the practical portion of the
training, which took place on two actual school buses in a coned-off area of the parking lot. In
groups of 30-40, trainers took the drivers and aides through a variety of potential threat
situations, to help elevate their awareness and provide them with a number of best practice
techniques for dealing with them. The idea, according to Lawrence, is “to give them the tools so
that if they’re in a situation on the bus, they can react to and handle it better,” something he says
the drivers appreciate. When it comes to improving safety for schoolchildren, the focus is often
on schools and the classroom, but Lawrence notes that the role bus drivers play can be just as
critical. “Our drivers are with those kids every day. They see them in the morning, they see them
in the afternoon, they really get to know them, and they really wanted this type of professional
training to be better prepared for them.”

Lawrence worked closely with Josh Reis, Safety and Risk Management Coordinator for ONC
BOCES, and members of both BOCES services units assisted with the days activities. Attendees
were welcomed to the event by Bob Avery, Director of Services for DCMO BOCES. Michael
Rullo, District Superintendent for DCMO also participated in the afternoon session, including the
practical training on the school bus. “Our school bus drivers are true professionals and are a
critical component in the educational process, said Rullo. “I know there is nothing more
important to them than the safety of the children entrusted to their care. Providing them with the
most up-to-date safety training possible is a must. School bus drivers across the region are to be
commended for their continued commitment to the safety and well-being of the students they
School districts participating included Stamford, Oxford Academy, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton,
Edmeston, Laurens, Morris, Delaware Academy (Delhi), Downsville, Cherry Valley, Norwich,
Milford, Unatego, and both DCMO and ONC BOCES.
Lawrence hopes that this can become an annual training event, modeled on the Regional School
Safety Summit he organizes and which provides school leaders, health and safety teams, law
enforcement and community leaders a forum for discussion and training to prevent school
shootings. “One of the biggest assets is the superintendents who see the benefits of getting all
their staff trained,” according to Lawrence. “Kudos to all of them.”
“School bus drivers across the region are to be commended for their continued commitment to
the safety and well-being of the students they transport, he continued. My most sincere
appreciation goes out to our bus drivers for engaging in the training, to our school districts across
the region for supporting the drivers in this very important work, and to our Health & Safety
Team at BOCES for making it all happen!”