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“Hero should be reserved for folks who serve better than me. I am not a hero in any sense of the word. I was just in the right place at the right time [and] had an opportunity to utilize the training I had received.”


Gary Patrick used his training to address the needs of a child having a seizure on his route.


Gary Patrick gave up his nights and weekends to serve as an on-call first responder. He worked as a volunteer firefighter for


38 years and still serves as a fire service instructor. The training he received as a medical first responder and the training he received through Baldwin County Board of Education in Alabama, located east of Mobile, helped him react appropriately and


quickly when a student had a seizure while on his route. On Nov. 20, Patrick noticed a student on his bus possibly having a sei-


zure, and immediately went into active protocol for handling such medical emergencies, transportation supervisor Anthony Pollard explained. Patrick called 911, followed by a call to the district, and he helped keep the entire bus of about 60 kids under control and calm. As soon as Patrick realized there was a medical emergency on the bus, he pulled over.


He ascertained that while unconscious, the girl was still breathing. Patrick then activated the district’s emergency response system. Pollard said it was Patrick’s dedication to service that helped him comfort a child having a seizure and keep a bus load of students calm in the process. Patrick said that after 10 years, he continues to be a school bus driver to help transport students safely to and from school, and he enjoys accomplishing that goal.


Throughout 2019, STN featured monthly heroes in its online section of the magazine and at its web-


site. While STN may not have identified every heroic action, here are a few of the student transporters who stood out. Visit stnonline.com/tag/hero to read more.


• Bernadine Reed, a school bus driver in Darlington County, South Carolina, safely evacuated 40 students after a car rear-ended the bus at a railroad crossing and both vehicles became engulfed by fire.


• Francis Kuznia, a bus driver for Warren-Alvarado-Oslo School District in Minnesota, steered the bus off the road to avoid a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer.


• Judy Scott, a school bus driver in Sesser, Illinois, lost all power in her bus as she drove down a hill. Scott was able to navigate the bus around a curve and come to a safe stop on the side of the road.


• Skip Torpey, a 73-year-old bus driver for Scio Central School District in New York state, performed CPR and resuscitated a woman who bus attendant Linda Harris discovered was blue and cold, lying in her garage. They were dropping off a pre-kindergarten student, and Torpey asked Harris to investigate when the child’s mother wasn’t at the bus stop to greet them, per district policy.


www.stnonline.com 49


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