This department provides training for new drivers and monitors as well as on-going training for current drivers and monitors. Durham has a staff of qualified trainers in the Milton office with some trainers possessing additional credentials that enable them to test driver applicants for their Commercial Driver's License. These trainers are located and serve all areas within Santa Rosa County.
To qualify to become a Bus Driver in Santa Rosa County:
1. You must be a resident of Santa Rosa County.
2. You must have a clear Criminal Background from birth to the present time. Fingerprinting is required.
3. Your Driving Record must be good; with a minimum of 5 years driving experience or be at least of 21 years of age.
4. You must be able to pass a Department of Transportation Physical. (Dexterity tests are required of both Driver and Monitor applicants before the physical is conducted.) The DOT restricts drivers who have serious heart or blood pressure problems and those who are insulin dependant.
5. You must be able to pass a DOT Drug Screen.
6. You must complete 20 hours of Department of Education and Durham Classroom Training and a minimum of 20 hours of behind the wheel training.
7. You must obtain a permit to drive a bus from the Driver's License Division. (This is done after studying the Passenger, Air Brakes, and General Knowledge portions of the CDL Manual and passing a test there at the Driver's License Division.) This permit enables our trainers to put you behind the wheel of the bus and teach you to drive it.
Third party CDL testers on site can test for your CDL enabling you to purchase your CDL for $25. This is the only cost to the applicant. New drivers begin as substitutes or bench drivers. Bench drivers are guaranteed 25 hours per week ( working approximately 2 1/2 hours in the mornings and another 2 1/2 in the afternoon.) Some of the duties may be to fill in when drivers must be out, ride with experienced drivers, carry out the duties of a monitor if one is needed, shuttle buses or perform pre trip inspections for buses in the compound. Some help with other tasks on site, but all must be present to qualify for the 25 hours per week.
Driving a bus or serving as a monitor is a very good part time job. Employees have the opportunity for Health and Dental Insurance after 30 days. Uniform shirts are provided after the probationary period.
Monitors serve as extra eyes, ears, and hands for the driver. Some children with special needs require a monitor on the bus during transport to school. Monitors are fingerprinted, given physicals, and drug screens.
Monitor training is shorter than driver training but does require 15 hours of hands on training. During this time you will receive experience in tying down wheel chairs, installing car seats, and other restraints. Ideally, monitor applicants attend classroom training with drivers. They can respond in times of need more effectively if they know what is required of the driver.
Applications for drivers or monitors are taken in the Milton office at 6544 Firehouse Road or the Navarre office located in the bus compound behind Holley-Navarre Intermediate School. Applicants must complete the application on site between 7:00 AM and 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday.