School bus driver lauded for evacuating students during fire

A quick-thinking bus driver was able to safely get all his students to safety after a school bus caught fire Monday in Paramus. Jose Rodriguez has been a driver for the Jordan Bus Company for about

News 12 Staff

May 25, 2016, 1:24 AM

Updated 2,892 days ago

Share:

School bus driver lauded for evacuating students during fire
A quick-thinking bus driver was able to safely get all his students to safety after a school bus caught fire Monday in Paramus.
Jose Rodriguez has been a driver for the Jordan Bus Company for about 20 years. He says that his training is what kept him calm and collected when the bus' engine caught fire.
"I slowly left the school. The bus was good. Everything was running good," he says.
Rodriguez had 22 high school students on the bus and was heading down Spring Valley Road in Paramus when the engine started to smoke.
He says that he immediately stopped the bus and helped evacuate all the students. Within seconds after they got outside, the bus burst into flames.
"It proved that our training was there. He was focused, he saw the smoke coming out, he pulled over right away and right away he alerted the kids," says safety director Wilston Almanzar.
Rodriguez says that he isn't a hero, and just did what he was trained to do.
"When I'm driving, they're safe in my hands," he says. "I take them home."
The bus company tells News 12 New Jersey that drivers undergo monthly safety drills, with stressful scenarios like bus fires.
State officials are examining the school bus to find out why the engine caught fire.


More from News 12
0:51
Wildfire in Wharton State Forest consumes more than 400 acres of land

Wildfire in Wharton State Forest consumes more than 400 acres of land

1:56
Isolated storms tonight; freeze warning in effect for parts of NJ overnight

Isolated storms tonight; freeze warning in effect for parts of NJ overnight

2:54
Longtime Democratic US Rep. Donald Payne Jr. dies at 65 following heart attack

Longtime Democratic US Rep. Donald Payne Jr. dies at 65 following heart attack

1:53
Shop Mother’s Day Gifts – Exclusive Offers Up to 75% OFF!

Shop Mother’s Day Gifts – Exclusive Offers Up to 75% OFF!

0:56
Passaic to get $1.6M in federal funds to reduce flash flooding where 2 people died

Passaic to get $1.6M in federal funds to reduce flash flooding where 2 people died

2:56
Doctors combine a pig kidney transplant and a heart device in a bid to extend New Jersey woman's life

Doctors combine a pig kidney transplant and a heart device in a bid to extend New Jersey woman's life

0:43
Jersey Proud: Manchester HS students teach older generation about tech

Jersey Proud: Manchester HS students teach older generation about tech

2:23
'The tower is an eyesore.' Demolition of former Nabisco factory tower set to begin after 1-year delay

'The tower is an eyesore.' Demolition of former Nabisco factory tower set to begin after 1-year delay

1:03
Rep. Gottheimer announces another attempt to put an end to NYC’s congestion pricing plan

Rep. Gottheimer announces another attempt to put an end to NYC’s congestion pricing plan

0:29
Former Wawa gas attendant accused of stealing thousands of dollars from customers

Former Wawa gas attendant accused of stealing thousands of dollars from customers

1:33
AAA: New Jersey gas prices increase nearly 20 cents from last week

AAA: New Jersey gas prices increase nearly 20 cents from last week

2:12
Princeton University accused of violating civil rights of Jewish students

Princeton University accused of violating civil rights of Jewish students

0:37
Prosecutors: Former Jersey City police officer charged with sex assault, criminal restraint

Prosecutors: Former Jersey City police officer charged with sex assault, criminal restraint

0:27
Washington Township police issues warning over 'Water Wars' game

Washington Township police issues warning over 'Water Wars' game

0:34
Camden County man charged in crash that killed young mother

Camden County man charged in crash that killed young mother

2:18
Remnants of bird flu virus found in pasteurized milk, FDA says

Remnants of bird flu virus found in pasteurized milk, FDA says

0:32
US banning TikTok? Your key questions answered

US banning TikTok? Your key questions answered

0:35
Bon Jovi docuseries premieres Friday on Hulu

Bon Jovi docuseries premieres Friday on Hulu

0:31
New federal rule would bar 'noncompete' agreements for most employees

New federal rule would bar 'noncompete' agreements for most employees

1:02
Composting can save money, help gardens and save the planet. Here are 10 tips to get you started

Composting can save money, help gardens and save the planet. Here are 10 tips to get you started