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Bus Drivers First-Aid

Q: Are bus drivers required to have CPR training?

A:  No, state law does not require CPR training to be certified for driving a school bus.   BUT, it's a very good idea for a school district to set policy requiring CPR for bus drivers, and many schools do.

 Q: What is the first aid requirement for school bus drivers?

A: State law requires each driver to be trained in  standard first aid and have a valid, current first aid card.  Red Cross is a very common standard first aid course, but others are acceptable, too.  Look for a course whose instructor is certified to teach standard first aid and provides a dated card for each driver who passes the course.  Most common programs are good for 1 or 2 years.

 Q: We just hired a new driver who is not certified in first aid.   Is there a grace period?

A: Yes.   The law allows a driver to have 60 days from the date of hire to pass  the first aid certification.            

 Q: Does a driver who has a current Emergency Medical Tech certificate (EMT) have to take the standard first aid course to be certiifed as a school bus driver?

A: Technically, the law requires a standard first aid certificate.  However, EMT covers first aid and actually goes beyond that skill to a higher level.  For the school's liability purposes, accepting an EMT certificate in lieu of a standard first aid course does not seem to present a risk because the driver is better trained than he would be by taking the standard first aid course.  OPI accepts substitution of the EMT and similar specifically named programs in place of standard first aid.  If you'd like to know more about whether a specific program can be substituted, please call OPI.

OPI Contsct:  Donell Rosenthal at (406) 444-3024 or email:

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Last Updated
8th of March, 2012

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