Concerning Barry Paschals Oct. 15 column in The Columbia County News-Times:
I cant believe you would print sometime like that before getting your facts straight! First of all, the air-conditioned buses will go to route drivers and not athletic coaches. The coaches may be allowed to drive then for games and out-of-town trips.
I am a school bus driver for Columbia County (eight years), and excuse me for whining, but I placed a thermometer on the floor of my bus and the temperature topped out at 125 degrees. But I know it was hotter than that, because even after my cold shower my feet still felt like I had been walking on hot coals all day!
These school buses are 15 to 20 degrees hotter than it is outside. So add the heat, 50 students and traffic and you get a very stressful job. I, along with many other drivers, have an after-school route that requires us to be out longer in the afternoons - around five or six hours - so I think the air conditioning is mainly for us hardworking and very dedicated drivers, and not for all the Little Johnnys waddling home to play Nintendo.
Maybe you didnt know this, but it takes a cold shower, a gallon of ice-cold drinking water and at least one hour of air conditioning before us dedicated school bus drivers recuperate from a day of driving in the months of August and September when its the hottest! And as for the students many of whom have asthma they will also benefit from the air conditioning.
Have you checked to see how many times the EMTs have responded to school buses, because of the heat and asthma? I think not! I would like to see you turn the air conditioning off in your office in August at noon and work all day in it and then drive home (without your air conditioning on in the car) through Martinez in 5 oclock traffic, I will not add the 50 students, cause you couldnt handle that! Then maybe then you would understand.
At 10 buses a year the county might get all drivers an air conditioned bus in about eight to 10 years, and because of the bidding process it doesnt cost any more to buy a air conditioned bus than a non-air conditioned bus. Thank you, Columbia County Board of Education, and God Bless and watch over all school buses!
Columbia County Bus 202
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