Buses in Bushfire Sites
Bushfire season can be an anxious time for children and families.
Our schools and children’s centre in bushfire prone areas have emergency plans to keep everybody as safe as possible in the event of a bushfire.
Please read this information carefully in the best interests of children.
By being prepared, and acting now, you will help our schools and preschools to be bushfire ready and keep our children as safe as possible.
Thank you for your support.
BEFORE THE BUSHFIRE SEASON
Our schools and children’s centre prepare for the bushfire season and develop plans for the threat of a bushfire. We consult with fire authorities and building specialists to be better prepared. Our schools and children’s centre in bushfire prone areas must:
- Complete a Bushfire Safety Audit and checklist.
- Prepare buildings and grounds including clearing gutters, and removing vegetation.
- Update their Bushfire Action Plan and inform families of changes.
- Practise bushfire safety drills.
- Ensure power-fail and analogue telephone handsets and battery powered radios are in working order.
- Ask parents and carers to update their emergency contact details.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We ask parents and carers to:
- Read all bushfire information provided.
- Talk to your children about what will happen if a bushfire occurs when they are at school/children’s centre or on a school bus.
- Make sure your emergency contact details are up-to-date with our school/children’s centrel.
- Download the free app, Flexibuzz & locate your specific bus within the Balaklava Primary School –this includes families of children and students travelling on these buses and are enrolled at other sites.
DAYS OF CATASTROPHIC FIRE DANGER RATING
Catastrophic fire danger rating days are days when the weather conditions mean a fire is more likely to start and is more difficult to control.
When a catastrophic fire danger rating is forecast for the following day by the Bureau of Meteorology, all ‘low/medium risk’ schools and children’s centre (such as ours) in the declared Fire Ban District will remain open. School buses will not operate within the Fire Ban District.
Parents and carers will need to make alternative transport arrangements for their children on these days.
Please make sure your emergency contact details are updated before the bushfire season starts.
If our school or children’s centre is open and a bushfire is approaching, the safety of children is our highest priority.
The South Australian Police (SAPOL) and the Country Fire Service (CFS) will take charge if a bushfire is approaching. They recommend that in such an event, everybody should remain at their school/children’s centre, unless instructed to do otherwise.
Principals and preschool Directors must comply with SAPOL or CFS instructions.
If the police have not advised an evacuation, everyone will remain inside at the site and emergency procedures will be activated. These will include:
- Moving everybody inside a building that is the nominated safest location on their site where students will be. Then closing all windows and doors, and blocking crevices, cracks and gaps, plugging downpipes and filling roof gutters with water, if there is time.
- Checking that taps are working and filling available containers with water.
- Remaining inside and putting fire drill procedures into action with the children until the main fire-front passes.
- Listening to the local ABC Radio Station for information.
And if time and possible
- Hosing down walls, garden etc. on the side facing the ‘fire-front’ and leaving garden sprinklers on.
We hope that we will never have to enact fire drill procedures. However, we are working with our school and children’s centre communities to be bushfire ready in the event of a bushfire emergency and trust that parents and carers will add their support.
Balaklava Primary School, High School, BCCC and Horizon Christian School are NOT high-risk sites or in a recognised bushfire prone area.
Therefore, closures based on the predicted forecast do not apply to us. This means on days of forecast catastrophic fire danger rating, our sites will remain open.
Our sites and school bus runs are located in the Mid North Fire Ban District and therefore if a Catastrophic Day is declared in this district, no buses will operate.
Please note: The Beaufort bus runs through both the Mid North and Yorke Fire Ban Districts. If a Catastrophic Day is declared in either area the bus will not run. Horizon buses will not run into areas where a catastrophic day has been declared.
If a bushfire is declared, each school and BCCC will make every endeavour to contact the families of students and children’s centre attendees from their site who are on the affected runs.
ALL BUS FAMILIES travelling on Government buses: please install the free Flexibuzz app on your phones.
Please contact us if there are any difficulties with this. Messages will also be posted on BPS Facebook page as updates come to hand.
BPS: via Flexibuzz & Facebook & SMS
BHS: via SMS & Facebook & BPS Flexibuzz
BCCC: via phone calls & BPS Flexibuzz
Horizon CS: via SMS & School eNews & BPS Flexibuzz
Owen PS: via Owen PS Facebook Page, Flexibuzz and phone call
BPS will also contact all other education sites who will be responsible for contacting families affected in their site.
Parents are responsible for keeping the school/preschool updated with all current parent contact, and emergency contact, phone numbers and addresses.
Please listen to the local radio, ABC radio or check the CFS website when weather conditions indicate there could be a possible Catastrophic Day.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
CFS Bushfire Information Line
1300 362 361
During days of forecast catastrophic fire danger rating or an actual bushfire, a Parent Information Hotline will be activated.
Where communication is unavailable and the bushfire threat remains, all students/children will remain in their sites.
BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY CONTACTS
BPS: 88621660 / 0408847002 / 0428026285
BHS: 88620600 / 0427025204 / 0402848603
BCCC: 88621251 /0404652214 / 0439337063
Horizon CS: 88622100 / 0438622100 /0438623741
Please note that these numbers may be engaged during an emergency situation and you may not be able to get through immediately.
PARENT INFORMATION HOTLINE
Ph: 1800 000 279