A North Okanagan-Shuswap School District #83 mechanic, Mike Brasseur, has won top spot in a B.C. challenge to spot defects on school buses.
Brasseur took part in the first ever Association of School Transportation Services of B.C. skills competition, which was held in conjunction with the association’s annual conference held July 7-10 at Sun Peaks.
He explains there were two skills competitions at the conference which ran on two separate days. The first was testing technician skills, where mechanics were tested on hands-on and mechanical knowledge. This event was won by a mechanic from Kamloops.
The second competition was for inspecting school buses. Participants had to identify defects in three different buses. The first was defects in the interior of the bus, the second was exterior defects and the third was undercarriage/wheel/tire defects. Those in the challenge were only allowed 15 minutes per bus.
“It was a short time frame to inspect the buses,” laughs Brasseur. “Usually I take a couple of days to do a good job inspecting and fixing defects in a school bus.”
Brasseur had no clue that he had won. As a matter of fact, he was going to skip the wrap-up banquet and awards and get home but he said several people told him he should stay since the meal was already paid for.
“I decided I’d better. I had no clue.”
Brasseur said finding out he won was a little overwhelming. “Usually I’m in the background, working away in the shop.”
He received a $750 Snap On gift certificate as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to Richmond, Virginia to take part in America’s Best Technician Challenge in November.
“There’s pressure on us,” said Brasseur. “It’s the first time Canadians are going to be taking part in the event so I’d better brush up on my skills.”
School District #83 Operations Manager Frank Marasco was very proud of Brasseur’s performance.
“Mike has been with the district for about three years and is becoming an excellent technician for us. The quality and precision of his work gets better every day, he has truly become a key member of our team in ensuring the safety of the children in our care.”