MOUNT GILEAD — Eva Miller had sound advice for her fellow students during the Smoking A Bus program.
“It’s so real. The smoke is real. But being scared can make it worse,” Miller said after exiting a Mount Gilead School District bus intentionally filled with smoke in the parking lot of the high school last Tuesday.
She added it is important students not panic even though the smoke “freaks them out.”
This is the second year for the safety awareness program, that included elementary, middle and high school students. It was organized by Brenda Legros, transportation director.
Mount Gilead police and fire personnel assisted during the program.
Students evacuated the bus twice, the first time without smoke, and the second with it filled with smoke from a smoke machine.
The exit times were 1:49 without smoke and 1:55.68 with smoke, which school officials said was excellent.
Students exited the rear of the bus with two people stationed there to assist them stepping down. They were directed to follow someone and stand a safe distance away.
One elementary school student described the scene.
“It was hard to see in there; hard to see where to get out,” he said.
School officials said high standards are set for operating the district’s buses and for those who drive them. The goal of the practice is to make everyone aware of what needs to be done if the situation was real.