School District of Palm Beach County Bus Driver Regina Shealy recently received the Heroism Award from the Traffic Safety Committee of the Palm Beaches at the 32nd annual Traffic Safety Recognition Luncheon.
Shealy was honored for quickly coming to the rescue of a student who rode on her school bus. In February while driving her usual route, Shealy noticed that one of her students had not exited the school bus at the appropriate stop. Shealy called the student’s name, but did not get a response.
Concerned, she walked to the student’s seat and found her unresponsive. After unsuccessfully trying to wake her, Shealy contacted dispatch to summon emergency medical personnel to the scene.
Unfortunately, the situation took a turn for the worse in the minutes before paramedics arrived, when the student began having a seizure. Undeterred, Shealy called on her training and experience, knowing that she needed to roll the child on her side and protect her from hard objects.
When she noticed a security guard on a golf cart headed her way, Shealy flew off the bus and flagged him down. The security guard was able to provide assistance, and once paramedics arrived they were able to help the child who is now OK. A potentially tragic situation was averted, thanks to Shealy’s efforts.
“[The Heroism Award] is significant and well deserved,” said Sue Gorby, the Senior Transportation Coordinator for the School District. “We have many unrecognized heroes in our ranks of bus drivers and bus attendants, and I’m so proud of Regina.”
Although she has been with the District for 10 years, Shealy had only been driving that particular bus route for two months.
But even in that short time, she came to know her students and was therefore quickly able to sense something was wrong when the student didn’t get off the bus at their regular stop.