School Bus Emergency Management
Kinglake West Primary School is on the high risk register for bushfires (this means that Kinglake West Primary School does close on Code Red Days). The school considers the safety of our students a priority and will endeavour to keep parents informed at all times of any potential dangers regarding Code Red days.
Forecast Emergencies: Pre-emptive arrangements will come into force when a trigger based on the Fire Danger Rating (FDR) level – Code Red is reached. The potential for school closures and school bus service cancellations as a result of a Code Red Day will be flagged up to three days in advance and confirmed eighteen hours beforehand. Buses will not operate in or near an area determined by the regional director as high risk in consultation with the relevant external emergency service agencies.
In forecast emergency situations the school will be advised on the appropriate action with regards to planning and preparedness from DET. In the lead up to the day of the forecast emergency the school will communicate with parents via SMS and written notification of possible cancellations or changes to routes of school bus services.
Rapid Onset Emergencies: Whittlesea Secondary College is the coordinating school for Kinglake West Primary School – Flowerdale Bus Service. Kinglake West Primary School the coordinating school for the National Park Road Bus Service.
The coordinating Principal will make all decisions regarding bus situations in a rapid onset emergency.
In the event of a Rapid Onset Emergency that impacts or has the potential to impact school bus services, those services will be cancelled. No bus routes will be modified unless directed by emergency services in consultation with the regional director and the Emergency Management Centre.
Kinglake West Primary School is the coordinating for the National Park Road Bus Service.
A Rapid Onset Emergency may impact and threaten the safety of a school or bus service, which means that immediate action will need to be taken. There are three situations when a rapid onset emergency may threaten the safety of a school bus service:
Students Affected While At School: If bus services are affected by a rapid onset emergency, the coordinating principal will take responsibility for decisions affecting the School Bus Program and transport operations.
All services on affected bus routes and those that may potentially be affected will be cancelled in full. Buses with students on board must not leave the school without the approval of the principal.
All students on affected services will be held at the school until parents/guardians are able to arrange collection of their child/children.
Students affected en route: If the bus service encounters a danger en route to or from school, the bus driver assumes responsibility for emergency management to ensure the safety of all passengers and makes decisions where practicable with guidance from the coordinating principal.
If fires are burning in the area, bus drivers must not allow students to alight from buses unless parents/guardians are waiting for them at a designated bus stop. If no-one is waiting, buses will take students back to the school if it is practical and safe to do so, or to the nearest safe area with guidance provided by the coordinating principal.
If the road is blocked, the bus driver should return to the school if it is practical and it is safe to do so, or travel to an area deemed to be safe as directed by emergency services personnel.
Bus Services Affected Overnight Or Before School: If an emergency arises overnight or before school hours that affects the operation of a service, the coordinating principal makes the decisions regarding route cancellation with advice from the regional office.
Schools will contact the families of all affected students to avoid them waiting at stops where services have been cancelled.
Safety of human life takes priority at all times when determining transport arrangements.