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In-Service Safety Series
ADVERSE CONDITIONS
In-Service Safety Series
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EXTREME TEMPERATURES


WHAT THE SCHOOL BUS DRIVER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT EXTREME TEMPERATURES

  1. Extreme Heat
    • Extreme heat causes a problem when the temperature and the humidity combine to create high heat indices. This makes hot weather seem hotter.
    • NOTE: The heat index was devised for shady, light wind conditions. Exposure to full sun can increase the heat index by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Strong winds, especially hot dry winds, can be very hazardous.
    • You also have to consider the school bus environment.
      1. Are there fans or air conditioning?
      2. Are the students very young or do they have special needs?
Heat Index Chart
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  1. Extreme Cold
    • Dangerous cold occurs in 2 situations:
      1. When there are actual temperatures below freezing and
      2. When the low temperature and the cooling effect of the wind combine to create wind chill.

        Wind blows heat away from the body, reducing the body temperature more quickly than non-windy cold weather.
    • You also have to consider the school bus environment.
      1. Are there heaters?
      2. Is it a diesel engine that might gel up?
      3. Are the students very young or special needs?
      4. Do the students have adequate clothing?
Wind Chill Chart
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Read right and down from calm-air line. For example, a temperature of zero degrees Fahrenheit (0įF) combined with a wind of 20 miles per hour has an equivalent cooling effect of -39įF.

HOW THE SCHOOL BUS DRIVER SHOULD RESPOND TO EXTREME TEMPERATURES
  1. Extreme Heat
    • Call for help, either another bus or medical assistance, whatever is needed.
    • If you donít have a radio, flag down assistance. If you send someone for help, it must be an adult, not a student.
    • Open windows, door, and roof vents.
    • Turn on your fans.
    • Evacuate the students to shade: trees, an overpass, or the opposite side of the school bus from the sun.
    • If you have air conditioning that you are running, watch the temperature gauge to make sure the bus does not overheat. Plan your fuel use to make sure you donít run out.
    • Gather water and other liquids and make a distribution plan.
    • Have students remove any extra or unnecessary clothing.
    • Watch for heat disorder and treat it.

      Symptoms
      • Skin is sweaty and cold.
      • As the heat disorder worsens, skin becomes hot, dry, and red.
      • Student feels weak.
      • Student may faint or vomit.
      Treatment
      • Cool the student down immediately.
        • Remove clothing
        • Apply cool wet cloths
        • Fan the student
      • Give sips of water.
      • Get medical attention immediately.
  2. Extreme Cold
    • Call for help, either another bus or medical assistance, whatever is needed.
    • If you donít have a radio, flag down assistance. If you send someone for help, it must be an adult, not a student.
    • Stay on the bus.
    • Huddle the students, rotating different students to the middle.
    • From time to time exercise vigorously to keep blood circulating and to keep warm. Move arms, legs, fingers, and toes.
    • Gather your resources: clothes, blankets, water and other liquids, and food. Make a distribution plan.
    • When you need heat, run the engine for 10 minutes, then stop. When the engine is on, crack a window and run the rear exhaust fan. If you are stuck in snow, periodically check that snow hasnít accumulated around the exhaust fan.
    • Watch for frost bite and hypothermia and treat it.

      Frostbite
      • Symptoms are loss of feeling and white or pale appearance.
        • Rewarm the affected area slowly.
      Hypothermia
      • Symptoms are shivering, disorientation, slurred speech, and drowsiness.
        • Warm the person slowly. Warm the body core first, not the extremities. If you heat the extremities first, it drives cold blood to the heart and can lead to heart failure. If need be, use your own body heat to help.
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HANDOUT #9
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