Greenon students and district bus drivers work together on an app to show bus drivers where to rally students in a emergency situation.

Greenon students work with bus drivers to create emergency app

Greenon High School students presented an app to district bus drivers that would help guide drivers to a secured, agreed upon meeting point during an emergency situation.

Jim Shaner, who teaches the Surveillance and Response class, said students spent about three weeks crafting an app that could direct bus drivers to a safe location that could accommodate up to 30 school buses in an emergency like a tornado or an active shooter situation.

“We thought it would be really cool if we could get some responses and talk to the end users,” Shaner said. “So we reached out to the transportation department and heard there were three drivers that wanted to come help out.”

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Students in the Surveillance and Response class have been participating in the app project for the last six years, but this marks the first year that students were able to receive feedback from the people who could possibly be using it.

“I think the students were really able to take that information and make changes, and the drivers were really impressed about what they could do,” Shaner said.

Bill Millar, a driver for the district, said he hopes he could give the students some ideas into what it’s really like to drive a school bus.

“There are things they don’t think about,” Millar said. “Like, accessibility for the bus, in and out, backing up, voice commands.”

Little things, Millar said, like voice commands, could make a huge difference in an emergency situation.

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“You have to imagine if something is really happening, it’s going to be chaos,” Millar said. “The less time we have to take our eyes off the road, the better.”

Shaner said the app is just part of a project - for now.

“I hope we get the chance to test it out,” Shaner said. “I think it could be a very useful tool.”

Millar agreed, he called the app projects, “life changing.”

“If we were to actually have something like this, it would make a huge difference,” Millar said. “To be able to communicate better, that’s everything.”

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