Upshur County Schools donates retired bus to BFD


BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Schools officials, transportation personnel, and firefighters from the Buckhannon Fire Department gathered at the Upshur County Bus Garage Thursday morning for the donation of a retired school bus.

In addition to serving as a firefighter, Dion Wamsley also spends his days driving a bus for the Upshur County Schools Transportation Department. Wamsley said he knew as a firefighter, that large instructional vehicles were needed for training and began working to coordinate a mutually beneficial plan with BFD Chief J.B. Kimble and the Board of Education.

The donated bus is reportedly an out-of-service vehicle that has reached the end of its tenure. With the donation, the BFD will extend an opportunity to firefighters throughout the state to join them in Buckhannon for training on school bus extraction. Captain Joey Baxa, the training coordinator for BFD, is working on obtaining even more large vehicles to incorporate into their useful trainings.

“It’s not very often you get to deal with large vehicle resources, and we are planning to offer the training to every firefighter in Upshur County and will also extend the offer statewide. Anytime we can get additional training—good training—that’s what it’s about,” said Chief Kimble.

Administrators of Upshur County Schools were happy to work hand-in-hand with the BFD. Upshur Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus was in attendance along with other school officials. Dr. Lewis-Stankus and Chief Kimble signed the official documentation, finalizing the donation on October 28.

“We are so happy to be part of what the fire department is doing to train their people. Their work in this community goes beyond a fire—it goes to the health and safety of the county. They’re great role models for our students. They’re telling the kids about how to be safe, and they do so much more than just what people would think of with fire safety. I just really appreciate all that they do and to be a small part of that means so much,” expressed Dr. Lewis-Stankus.

“Knowing that it can be difficult for fire departments to acquire a school bus for training, we are excited to be able to move forward with this donation. Emergency responders will enhance their training skills related to school bus extrication, which will help them understand what students need and the most appropriate way to get them out safely. These types of classes are very important, and we are proud to be able to be a part of these efforts,” added Upshur County Schools Transportation Director Jodie Akers.

Watch for future editions of The Record Delta to see the coverage of trainings offered by Buckhannon Fire Department that will bolster the skills of firefighters locally and statewide.

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