Active Threat Training Enhances Robertson County School Bus Security

Active Threat Training Enhances Robertson County School Bus Security

ROBERTSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – This will be a Smokey Barn News comprehensive special video report on the extra steps school districts are taking to protect students when they are most vulnerable. It’s a national trend as schools become ever more secure.

In Robertson County Tennessee, the school district has taken a significant step forward in ensuring the safety of its students by addressing a previously overlooked vulnerability: school buses. While the nation’s schools have been locked down against threats for nearly a decade, buses remained at risk. That gap has now been closed thanks to an innovative training program called START, or School Transportation Active Threat Response Training. This comprehensive program, developed in collaboration with highly trained law enforcement officials, equips bus drivers with the tools to identify and respond to potential threats, such as explosive devices, guns and gunmen, drugs, and a host of possible threats even before the buses even leave the lot. The training includes instructional class, hands-on practice with mock equipment, and scenario-based exercises, all aimed at creating a safer environment for both drivers and students.

While we won’t reveal all the safety protocols, we will provide a comprehensive overview of how detailed and expansive the training is. Our goal is to give you a clear sense of the incredible effort put into ensuring the safety of our school buses without compromising the security measures in place.

S.T.A.R.T. Founder/CEO Jim Levine

What is the S.T.A.R.T. program?
The School Transportation Active-Threat Response Training (S.T.A.R.T.) program, is tailored specifically for school bus drivers, aides, and support personnel. Developed by law enforcement and behavioral health professionals, S.T.A.R.T. equips participants with a comprehensive and consistent best practices training curriculum, supported by the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) and Ohio Homeland Security.

The S.T.A.R.T. program aims to “target harden” school buses, by empowering drivers to navigate various emergency situations effectively. Led by a diverse team of law enforcement and security experts, behavioral health officials, military personnel, and crisis intervention experts, the program covers response strategies for threats both on and off the bus. Conducted at school district locations across the nation, S.T.A.R.T. offers flexible training formats, either as a two-day, four-hour session or a single eight-hour day. Through classroom presentations, hands-on exercises and scenario-based training, drivers engage in active shooter response, bomb threat assessment, and crisis de-escalation techniques.

The S.T.A.R.T. program increases safety awareness among drivers, provides for enhanced response capabilities, and improves passenger safety. Thousands of drivers have already benefited from S.T.A.R.T., with feedback emphasizing its practicality and effectiveness. “I don’t typically pass along programs but this group was amazing! I have always found it hard to find meaningful professional development day for drivers but my drivers are raving about this program on bus safety,” said Jon Detwiler, Superintendent of Fremont City Schools.

S.T.A.R.T. is available nationally so if you would like to sign up your school district, church, or wherever you feel the training would be valuable, more information is available on their website.

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