State law does not require school bus drivers to be CPR certified. FOX8 found only a few school districts in our area choose to make CPR certification mandatory to work as a bus driver. Those are Davidson County, Lexington, Stokes County and Mount Airy schools.
Here’s the list of school districts that do not require it: Guilford, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, Surry, Thomasville, Yadkin, Rockingham, Asheboro, Alamance/Burlington, Randolph and Wilkes.
Where your child goes to school determines what kind of training your bus driver has. Some state lawmakers introduced a bill to require CPR training for all bus drivers last year, but it never made it out of committee.
On its own, Davidson County Schools started requiring first aid and CPR certification for its 400 drivers almost a decade ago.
Gary Buie, director of transportation told FOX8, “It was a large undertaking but they were very understanding. They saw the need for it as well and were very supportive and followed through with the process which made it easier.”
Lexington City Schools followed Davidson County’s lead. Assistant Superintendent David Miller said, “As we know, emergencies happen all the time on buses, at bus stops, en route to school, home. To have our bus drivers with CPR is just added protection for the district.”
So far, Davidson County bus drivers have not needed to use their CPR training, but they have put first aid training to work while waiting for medical assistance to arrive.
FOX8 spoke with some school leaders who told us that you should consider that a bus driver’s responsibility must be the operation and safety of the bus. They would need to pull the bus over and maintain order before administering CPR. By putting medical care onto a driver’s shoulders, that could diminish their ability to take care of all students.
But others disagree saying drivers have the judgment to help. Bus drivers on the lot and teachers at Tyro Middle School used their training when Brenda Wilson had a medical emergency.
She said, “I personally think every bus driver needs first aid and CPR. We have it here in Davidson County, and I feel like there are children on that bus that anything can happen to.”
Though not required, WSFCS bus drivers may take the CPR training course for free at Forsyth Tech.