By TODD GOTTULA
KEARNEY – The Nebraska Safety Center has received a $639,329 grant to train more than 1,000 transit drivers from transportation, bus and transit companies across Nebraska.
The grant, from the Nebraska Department of Roads, is the largest secured in the 36-year history of the Safety Center’s operation in Kearney.
The three-year grant is being used to train drivers in defensive driving; passenger awareness, safety and sensitivity; CPR and first aid; emergency procedures; distracted driving and other areas.
The training program’s first phase started in January and will be completed in August. Second and third phases will occur in the following two years.
“This training project potentially could be a model for the entire country,” said Mick Anderson, executive director of the Nebraska Safety Center. “Nobody is really offering this training in one package. We are excited to work with national transit groups and create a model that becomes a benchmark for others.”
The training, which is required of all transit drivers in the state, is offered at no charge to those receiving it. The Safety Center is partnering with 62 companies in Nebraska.
In addition to offering classes at the Safety Center headquarters and driving range in Kearney, courses will be taught by Safety Center personnel at 14 other locations in Nebraska.
Those locations include: Alliance, Beatrice, Broken Bow, Columbus, Grand Island, Lincoln, McCook, Norfolk, North Platte, Ogallala, Omaha, O’Neill, Red Cloud and Scottsbluff.
“The Nebraska Safety Center continues to grow and expand its services, and this grant will enhance our opportunities across Nebraska,” Anderson said.
Anderson said the program reinforces the Nebraska Safety Center’s mission, which is providing safety education and accident prevention in traffic, industrial, home, fire and recreational areas.
“This will not only enhance rural public transportation safety, but it will make an impact on the entire state,” Anderson said. “This is a great opportunity for the Nebraska Safety Center and will make a positive impact on the University of Nebraska at Kearney.”
Source: Mick Anderson, email@example.com, 308.865.9393
Writer: Todd Gottula, 308.865.8454, firstname.lastname@example.org