READING, MASS. (WHDH) - Massachusetts National Guard members are undergoing transportation training so they can help local communities transport students to school amid a nationwide bus driver shortage.

Gov. Charlie Baker issued an order Monday making up to 250 Guard members available to help with school transportation efforts.

Currently, 90 Guard members are preparing for service in Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn.

They gathered at the Camp Curtis Guild in Reading on Wednesday to learn how to drive 7D vans used to take kids to school.

North Reading Transportation CEO John McCarthy says this puts a new meaning to the word “hero.”

“They can fight for our country and fight for freedom based on who calls them out to do what. They can be out dealing with a disaster like a hurricane and now they’re out grabbing our children,” he said.

The Guard members are expected to start driving students before the end of the week.

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