Parents watching their children get on the bus each morning should know they are in good hands with Portage la Prairie School Division (PLPSD) bus drivers.
Every three years, bus drivers within the division must go through First Aid & CPR training to ensure they are prepared for whatever life throws at them during their daily rides to and from school.
On February 28, 11 of the PLPSD's 32 drivers were brought through a day-long workshop by Rick Lawrence, the Safety Coordinator for the PLPSD.
Lawrence says he doesn't think you can go too far regarding safety preparedness.
"We try to focus on the skills that bus drivers would need on the job, possibly dealing with a child in distress."
Lawrence adds that parents should feel their children are in good hands with these drivers having the skills to deal with lifesaving care until paramedics arrive.
"I'm happy to provide it, and I think it's a valuable resource for the school division to have somebody who can do it as an internal resource rather than farming it out."
Shelley Anderson, Supervisor of Transportation for the PLPSD, notes that while the hope is that the drivers will never come across an issue where they need to utilize this training, it's vital to have it just in case.
"Every training we give our drivers is with the safety of the students in mind. So the more training they have to ensure the students are safe, the better the parents should feel about their students being on the bus."
The PLPSD currently transports 1578 students on 20 regular routes, with 20 regular buses and seven spares. They employ 20 route drivers and have 12 fill-in drivers.