Ten First Student Bus locations have recently received the Blue Seal of Excellence from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Of the 10 properties that received the award, Local 1908 of Buffalo, N.Y., were one of those properties.
According to First Student, the properties that received the award demonstrated dedication to safety and a commitment to setting the highest standards.
The ASE was created in 1972 to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals. The Blue Seal of Excellence is the highest certification level given by ASE.
SMART Transportation Division represents mechanics and bus drivers on the Buffalo property. SMART TD congratulates the mechanics on their award.
BUFFALO — UTU-member and Buffalo school bus driver Yolanda Luciano (Local 1908) is being hailed as a hero — likely saving the lives of one or more of the eight elementary-school students aboard her First Student bus by engaging in a split-second emergency defensive driving maneuver on a snowy street the afternoon of Dec. 8.
An automobile, its driver allegedly fleeing police — and perhaps traveling 100 mph before the crash, according to Buffalo television news reports — appeared in Luciano’s windshield, coming directly at her bus.
Luciano abruptly steered the bus from a direct head-on impact with the blue Chevrolet Impala, but it was still a head-on crash.
“Everything went up in smoke and flames, just horrible,” an eyewitness told WGRZ television news. Luciano helped evacuate the children from the bus.
“She really handled the situation well,” said General Chairperson Dale McClain. “She saved lives.”
Only one student — a six-year-old — was injured seriously enough to be hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries. The driver of the auto also was hospitalized with unspecified injuries.
UTU Local 1908 represents some 600 First Student drivers and mechanics in Buffalo.