New Law to Equip School Bus Drivers with EpiPens

HAZLE TOWNSHIP -- School bus drivers taking students to and from the Hazleton Area School District could soon be learning more ways to save their passengers.

A bill passed by the Pennsylvania Senate this week would give crossing guards and school bus drivers the OK to use an EpiPen on students suffering from allergic reactions.

The Hazleton Area School District already has the EpiPen in every nurse's office and looks forward to equipping their school bus drivers as well.

“We need to consider student safety in every situation and that comes above any issue we might come across or face. Parents trust us with their hottest commodity: their children,” said Hazleton Area Superintendent Craig Butler.

Bus drivers and crossing guards would have to complete an online program provided by the Department of Health and only then would they be able to use the EpiPen.

The bill does not force school districts or independent contractors to use the EpiPen policies.

“It's easily accessible and I think that if we would expand that in district-wide focus that we could do it quickly, train folks that need the training and we should be ready to go,” said the superintendent.

Parents we talked to are grateful steps are being taken to keep their kids safe while away from home.

“You never know what you're going to do if your child has an allergic reaction and there is nobody else around except the bus driver or teacher. As long as they know how to use it, (it could) save a child's life,” said Sharon Formica of Hazleton.

“I believe bus drivers should have CPR training. Kids these days have allergies. It would be a good idea,” said Vanessa Pinherio of Hazleton.

The bill still needs the governor's signature to become law.

The Hazleton Area School District tells Newswatch 16 it would have to be approved by the school board before putting it to use.

2 comments

  • Terry

    Is a bus driver who uses the epi pen on a student who needs it given legal protection should the child die?
    I know someone (an adult) whose case was so severe that he needed 5 epi pen injections. Had not the paramedics had them with them he would be dead.

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