MCOE bus drivers
MCOE bus drivers Isaac Godinez (left) and Susana Rodriguez helped extinguish a car fire while en route from Salinas to Soledad on a routine mail run May 22. (Courtesy of MCOE)

SALINAS VALLEY — Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE) bus driver Susana Rodriguez and her passenger/husband Isaac Godinez, who is also a bus driver for MCOE, were en route from Salinas to Soledad on a routine mail run May 22 when they came across a car parked on the side of the road.

The couple noticed the vehicle had smoke billowing from its engine compartment. Without any emergency personnel in sight, they quickly pulled over and lent a hand to help extinguish the fire, since there were no students on board the bus.

While Rodriguez called 911, Godinez promptly utilized a fire extinguisher from the bus to extinguish the fire, managing to do so before the arrival of emergency responders.

As part of the California Department of Education’s Bus Driver Curriculum, “Unit 8 Emergency Procedures” is a required unit that new bus drivers are trained on, and teaches basic fire extinguisher use and different types of fires. It is also required for bus drivers who are renewing their school bus certificate.

MCOE requires school bus safety training each year at the beginning of the school year, discussing emergency procedures and helping to prepare bus drivers for all emergency situations.

“Susana and Isaac are exemplary examples of how proper training and quick thinking can prevent a potentially dangerous situation from escalating,” stated MCOE. “Their actions not only demonstrate their commitment to safety, but also highlight the importance of thorough emergency preparedness and training.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.