Recent events and headlines were in the back of everyone’s mind when motorcoach, school bus, and public transit companies’ representatives assembled for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) active shooter/assailant training and exercises on May 15.
The discussion included:
- Security threat indicators and primary attack methods applicable to the bus industry.
- Immediate actions bus operators/passengers may take to mitigate/de-escalate unexpected security incidents.
- Bus operators’ response to an active shooter/assailant threat near or on board a school bus, motorcoach and/or mass transit bus.
- Coordination between law enforcement and operators during the response to an active shooter/assailant threat.
- Standard operating procedures, lessons learned and areas for improvement.
- Best practices to mitigate an active shooter/assailant on a bus.
TSA also provided an element of realism during the demonstration, complete with SWAT teams and explosions.
Maryland Motorcoach Association (MMA) hosted the event at the facilities of Academy Express, just outside Washington. Davis Travel Center/Petroleum Marketing Group and Irizar USA hosted the lunch.
Information hit home
Mary Presley, MMA Executive Director, described the event as one of the “best and most practical events we have held due to the current criminal activity affecting the bus industry.”
She added that the event involved the collaboration of several agencies, local and state law enforcement, and operators from the school bus, motorcoach and transit industries.
MMA’s Board Members Lauren Grote, with Rills Bus Service, who represented the school bus operators, and Tim Wilson, with Academy Bus, who represented the private carriers, gave presentations.
Additional sessions are planned in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the National Association of Motorcoach Operators annual conference, and in Los Angeles, with more details to come on that event.
“I can’t wait to start planning the next one,” Presley said.