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Safety and Security Manual

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Safety and Security Manual

Transportation

Transportation Security and Safety

It is the purpose of the Apostolic Faith Church to follow safety policies and procedural guidelines that reduce the possibility of accidents and facilitate the safe operation of vehicles used to transport participants to and from church-sponsored events.

  • Transportation Security and Safety - Policy, Purpose, and Administration - 3.1

    Policy: It is the policy of the Apostolic Faith Church to maintain and operate church-owned vehicles as safely as possible.

    Purpose: To follow safety policies and procedural guidelines that reduce the possibility of accidents and facilitate the safe operation of vehicles used to transport participants to and from church-sponsored events.

    Administration:  The pastor or an appointee is responsible for the implementation of safety procedures for transportation providers and for ensuring the proper maintenance of church-owned vehicles.

     

  • Transportation Staff Requirements - 3.2

    Each year many thousands of lives are lost in vehicle accidents in the United States. Most of these accidents occur as a result of basic safety violations or poor maintenance practices. Of course, there is no foolproof formula to ensure safety on the road. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the possibility of accidents.

    Requirements for Drivers

    If church vehicles are always operated by well-trained drivers, the risks involved in transporting groups to and from services and events will be greatly reduced. The lives of those under our supervision should be entrusted only to the most capable drivers, so transportation providers must be selected carefully.

    The following requirements and guidelines apply both to drivers of church-owned vehicles and drivers of privately-owned vehicles which are being used to transport individuals to and from church-sponsored activities. Drivers are required to:

    • Be at least twenty-five years of age.
    • Have a current valid driver’s license and a good driving record.
    • Be insured as required by state law.
    • Be physically able to assist those in the vehicle if an accident should occur.
    • Read the Apostolic Faith Church Volunteer Handbook.
    • Take the online child safety training recommended by the church insurance company. (Information on how to access this training is available at www.apostolicfaith.org/library/safety.) Print documentation which indicates successful completion of the training, and provide a copy to the pastor.
    • Complete the online defensive driver training program provided by the church insurance company. (Information on how to access this training is available at www.apostolicfaith.org/library/safety.) Print documentation which indicates successful completion of the training, and provide a copy to the pastor.
    • Read the document Procedure Guidelines for Transportation Providers.
    • Watch the video regarding how to give CPR posted online by the American Heart Association. This can be accessed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9T25SMyz3A
    • Submit a Worker Application form, which includes three personal references. Applicants are asked to disclose any matter which may affect their suitability to work with children and youth. Authorization to do a background check is included as part of this form. (The information obtained through this process will be kept confidential.)

    In addition, we recommend that all church workers who interact with minors read the document “What You Can Do About Child Abuse,” published by the Oregon Department of Human Services (publication DHS 9061). It is available at https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/de9061.pdf.

    Transportation staff must also be prepared to fulfill on an ongoing basis any additional training or recertification requirements established by the Apostolic Faith organization.

    These requirements must be completed and the certification recorded in the local church office before an individual begins driving for the Apostolic Faith organization. Application and certification records are to be kept on file in the church office for insurance purposes.

    Anyone who has ever been convicted of child abuse will not be allowed to work with children. Other criminal offenses may also disqualify an individual from serving as part of the transportation staff.

    Requirements for Sunday School Van Attendants

    An authorized attendant must accompany the driver on each Sunday school route to help the children get on and off the vehicle safely, and to maintain order during transit. Van attendants for an Apostolic Faith Church sponsored activity for children or youth must be at least sixteen years of age, and of the same gender as the driver or a close relative of the driver. (Close relatives must be approved by the pastor or Sunday school superintendent.)

    Adult attendants must meet the following requirements:

    • Read the Apostolic Faith Church Volunteer Handbook.
    • Take the online child safety training recommended by the church insurance company. (Information on how to access this training is available at www.apostolicfaith.org/library/safety.) Print documentation which indicates successful completion of the training, and provide a copy to the pastor.
    • Be thoroughly familiar with the contents of this document.
    • Fill out and submit a Worker Application form upon completion of all training requirements. Applicants are asked to disclose any matter which may affect their suitability to work with children and youth. Authorization to do a background check is included as part of the form. (The information obtained through this process will be kept confidential.)

    Attendants who are under the age of eighteen must meet the following requirements:

    • Read the Apostolic Faith Church Volunteer Handbook.
    • Be thoroughly familiar with the contents of this document.
    • Fill out and submit a Youth Worker Application form, which includes two personal references, and includes a commitment to abide by the guidelines and policies established by the Apostolic Faith organization. This application also includes parent/guardian consent and a release of liability.

     

  • Transportation Record Keeping - 3.3

    All records and documentation related to Apostolic Faith driver certification, Sunday school transportation, insurance, and activity logs are to be retained in the records in the local church office.

    Driver Certification Records

    The following records should be on file for each approved driver:

    • A completed Worker Application form (including the section of the form for individuals who provide transportation for church events).
    • Documentation indicating completion of the online child safety training recommended by the church insurance company.
    • Documentation indicating completion of the online defensive driver training program provided by the church insurance company.
    • A photocopy of the driver’s state-issued driving license.

    Each pastor should maintain a list of all approved drivers for the local church. (Drivers are required to report any change in their driving status to the pastor or transportation supervisor.)

    Sunday School Van Records

    • Weekly records must be retained for each Sunday school van trip, recording the names of the driver, attendant, and students who were transported on the van.
    • Each regular passenger on the Sunday school vans should have a Sunday School Registration form on file in the church office. This form includes transportation permission and a release of liability. These forms should be updated annually.
    • Visitors (both adults and minors) who show up to ride on the van to Sunday school should be noted on the van log.

    Activity Logs

    For church-sponsored events other than regular Sunday school transport, all minors who are driven to and from activities must present a Youth Activity Permission Form filled out by the parent/legal guardian in order to ride on church-provided transportation. Van drivers are responsible to obtain the permission forms for any minors on their van. This form should be retained in the van during transport, given to the activity supervisor at the event, and filed in the church office subsequent to the activity.

    Liability Insurance

    • All vehicles owned by the church must be insured under the insurance coverage maintained by and on behalf of the church.
    • A certificate of current liability insurance coverage should be kept in the glove compartment or under the visor in each church-owned vehicle.

    Information to Retain in Church Vehicles

    In addition to certification of current liability insurance, the following documents should be kept either in the glove compartment or under the visor in each church-owned vehicle:

    • Phone numbers for the church, Sunday school superintendent, and transportation supervisor (or minister to contact in event of emergency).
    • A blank copy of the Vehicle Accident Information Form for use in acquiring needed information after an accident. The filled-in form should be given to the pastor or transportation supervisor within twenty-four hours after such an event.
    • A blank copy of the Accident/Incident Report form, for use in documenting any injury or medical emergency which occurs during transport. The filled-in form should be given to the pastor or ministry supervisor within twenty-four hours after such an event.
  • Transportation Safety Guidelines - 3.4

    The Apostolic Faith organization is committed to ensuring that every individual is physically and emotionally safe while in the care of the church. With that goal in mind, the following guidelines have been established for vehicle operators.

    Requirements Regarding Vehicle Use

    • Drivers must comply with all traffic laws and regulations.
    • Drivers and attendants are prohibited from the use, possession, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while traveling with children.
    • The number of passengers must not exceed that approved for the vehicle, and a functional seat belt must be available for each passenger.
    • Seat belts are to be used by all occupants of a vehicle at any time the vehicle is moving. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that all occupants are securely belted before starting the vehicle.
    • Sunday school vans must be equipped with proper child safety seats and booster seats, and child passengers in the following weight/height/age categories must use these seats when riding in church vehicles.
    • Child passengers must be in an approved child safety seat until they weigh 40 pounds.
    • Children over 40 pounds must use a booster seat until they are 4’9” tall OR age 8.
    • Personal use of church-owned vehicles is not allowed unless pre-authorized by the pastor or an appointee.
    • Circumstances which leave one child and one adult alone in a vehicle must be avoided.
    • Regular Sunday school routes should be arranged to keep at least one extra seat available in the van, in case a regular attendee wants to bring a visitor.
    • Vehicle accidents must be reported immediately to the pastor or the transportation supervisor.

    Safety Precautions

    Transportation providers for the Apostolic Faith organization should:

    • Carry a cell phone for use in event of an emergency. However, cell phones are not to be used while driving.
    • Prohibit children from putting their arms or heads out the windows.
    • Prohibit fighting or roughhousing among the riders. If the children get too rowdy, pull the vehicle over to the side of the road and remain there until the rowdy behavior ceases.
    • Discuss ongoing discipline problems on Sunday school vans with the Sunday school superintendent and/or the transportation supervisor.
    • Shut off the engine and take the keys when leaving the vehicle.
    • Never leave the vehicle unattended while minors are in it.
    • Make certain that Sunday school children go home in the same van they came in. Any other arrangement must be made in advance with the parent/guardian.
    • Transport children directly to the specified destination, and return children directly to their home or designated drop-off location. Any other arrangements must be made in advance with the parent/guardian.

    15-passenger Van Usage

    Despite alerts from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of rollovers and other accidents involving 15-passenger vans continues to increase. The NHTSA has found that 15-passenger vans are far more likely to roll over than any other vehicle. They are nearly three times more likely to roll over when carrying ten or more passengers than the same van carrying five or fewer passengers because the passenger weight raises the center of gravity and shifts it to the rear. For these reasons, the following precautions should be taken:

    • Remove the rear seat to make sure that passengers sit in front of the rear axle, and load occupants from the front.
    • Limit the number of vehicle occupants.
    • Prevent overloading. Keep the rear area as free of luggage or equipment as possible.
    • Do not use a roof rack or strap cargo on the back of the van. As weight inside a van increases, so does the van’s propensity to roll over.
    • Make sure the van tires are properly inflated. A major problem with 15-passenger vans is that their tires are often underinflated, leading to higher tire temperatures, faster tire deterioration, and diminished driving stability.

     

  • Fleet Maintenance - 3.5

    Owning buses and vans gives the church an ability to transport people wherever and whenever necessary. However, church-owned vehicles can fall into disrepair, especially if they are used infrequently or if no one is specifically responsible for their upkeep. A routine maintenance program can help keep church vehicles dependable for the people who rely on them.

    Apostolic Faith churches are expected to take vehicle maintenance seriously. To assist in this area, the following guidelines have been established:

    • Sunday school van route drivers must do a pre-trip and post-trip inspection of the vehicle, and document in writing any mechanical problems. This documentation should be given to the pastor or transportation supervisor within forty-eight hours.
    • Vehicles in the church fleet should be maintained through the services of a qualified mechanic.
    • Regular inspections should be performed in order to ensure proper function and safety. Records should be kept of all repair and maintenance work done on church vehicles.
    • All church-owned vehicles must be equipped with the warning and safety devices required by state law.
    • Any church vehicle used for out-of-town travel should be equipped with the following:
    • Approved fire extinguisher
    • First aid kit
    • Emergency flares

     

     

  • Emergency Procedures - 3.6

    Driving in Hazardous Conditions

    At times, drivers who provide transportation to and from Sunday school or other church-sponsored functions may face inclement weather causing hazardous road conditions. It is important for all church drivers to be thoroughly familiar with the techniques described in the Procedure Guidelines for Transportation Providers for safely operating a vehicle when visibility is reduced, pavement is wet, or ice and/or snow have accumulated on the road.

    If drivers have any doubt about their ability to safely operate a vehicle in such conditions, they should discuss their concerns with the pastor or transportation supervisor. If substitute drivers who are experienced in handling poor road conditions are not available, the pastor may want to consider cancelling the event.

    Vehicle Breakdown

    If a vehicle breaks down while being used to transport individuals to or from a church event, the driver should take the following steps.

    • Call for assistance. Phone numbers for the church, Sunday school superintendent and/or transportation supervisor should be attached to the visor or be in the glove compartment.
    • Turn on the emergency flashers or hazard lights, and raise the hood.
    • Stay in the vehicle and wait for help.

    Passenger Injury

    If a child is injured while getting on the van, the driver or attendant should immediately notify the parent/guardian, while leaving one staff member with the other children already on the van.

    • If the injury occurs during transit or while on church property, the driver should take the following steps:
    • Provide first aid for minor injuries, scrapes, and bruises (for example, applying adhesive bandages), or take the child to the leader of his/her Sunday school department for attention.
    • For injuries requiring medical treatment beyond simple first aid, the child’s department leader should contact the parent/guardian to determine what the next step should be. If warranted by circumstances, emergency medical assistance will be summoned.
    • If a child must be taken to the hospital, a staff member should accompany the child, staying with him until a parent/guardian or emergency contact arrives.
    • In the case of injuries requiring treatment by a medical professional, an Accident/Incident Report Form must be completed by the driver or Sunday school department leader once the child has received appropriate medical attention. This form should be retained in the church office. (If an insurance claim results, the information should be sent to headquarters).

    Vehicle Accident

    In the event of a vehicle accident, the driver should take the following steps:

    • If possible, move the vehicle to the side of the road and out of the flow of traffic. If the vehicle cannot be moved, the driver, attendant, and passengers should remain in the vehicle with seatbelts fastened until help arrives.
    • Turn on hazard lights.
    • Ascertain the condition of passengers and summon emergency medical help if needed. Injured passengers should not be moved unless they are in greater jeopardy by remaining where they are.
    • If another vehicle was involved, exchange information with the driver, including: name, address, phone number, insurance company, policy number, license plate number, and driver’s license number. A Vehicle Accident Information Form should be in the glove compartment for this eventuality. Insurance policy information should be located above the visor or in the glove compartment.
    • If a camera or cell phone is available, take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to both vehicles.
    • Be polite, but do not tell the other driver or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
    • Report the accident to the police according to state law.
    • Inform the pastor or transportation supervisor regarding the accident. (Pastors must notify the headquarters office for insurance records, including a copy of the Vehicle Accident Information Form and any citation or other paperwork.)

     

     

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The Apostolic Faith Church is a worldwide Christian organization, with headquarters in Portland, Oregon. As a Trinitarian and fundamental church, our doctrinal beliefs are the basic Bible truths, including the definite experiences of salvation, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

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