HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- Thousands of students in Hampton City Schools ride the school bus, and the district's 100+ bus drivers are responsible for getting them to and from school safely.

To help drivers in the case of smoke or fire, Hampton Fire and Rescue conducted a simulation Thursday.

While drivers loaded onto buses, fire crews filled the bus with fake smoke.

"That smoke was realistic, because you could not see basically in front of you," said Debbie Lee Bryant, a bus driver. The fire department urges people not to panic in a situation like this.

"Stay calm. The calmer you are, once you pull over and once they're in a safe place to do so, start evacuating the children," said Anthony Chittum, battalion chief.

Drivers tell 13News Now they appreciate the advanced training.

"I'm glad that we went through this exercise because it prepares me in the event that it will happen and we pray that it doesn't happen," said Bryant.