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January 17, 2012  |   Comments (3)   |   Post a comment

Heroes in school transportation 2012

In the second edition of this series, we highlight school bus drivers who saved lives with their quick thinking and vital skills. When danger arose, their training — and their instincts — came through.

by SBF Staff


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Bus driver Ricardo Martinez acted on instinct when he brought a lost infant to safety while tending to his special-needs passengers.
<p>Bus driver Ricardo Martinez acted on instinct when he brought a lost infant to safety while tending to his special-needs passengers.</p>

Driver saves lost infant’s life

Ricardo Martinez
Anaheim City School District
Anaheim, Calif.

Nothing could have prepared bus driver Ricardo Martinez for the unique emergency situation he faced en route last October. However, thanks to his strong instincts and moral code, Martinez was able to bring a lost infant to safety.

As Martinez was covering a special-needs trip for the Anaheim City School District on Oct. 14, he noticed cars swerving around something in the middle of the road. He drove a bit closer only to find it was a 15-month-old baby boy in a T-shirt and diaper. In a strange coincidence, he was playing with a toy school bus.

“A lot of things were going through my head,” Martinez recalls. “I knew I had to save the baby, and I wondered why the other cars hadn’t stopped when they saw him.”

Quick thinking led Martinez to first secure his bus so he could retrieve the baby, taking him out of harm’s way. He brought the infant onto the bus and radioed dispatch, who then notified the Anaheim Police Department.

Before a second bus came to take the other children home, Ricardo explained to the frantic students in both Spanish and English what was going on. He managed to restore order on the bus and effectively communicate the importance of staying calm, as not to scare the baby. Once the students understood, some even extended a helping hand, according to Martinez.

“In all my experience, we’ve never had something like this happen,” says Rick Lewis, director of transportation for the district. “I was so impressed with the way Ricardo was able to coax the young boy on board with really no problem, plus take control of the special-needs kids at the same time.”

For the hour and a half that Anaheim police officers canvassed the neighborhood in search of the infant’s parents, Martinez tended to the baby without question. According to Lewis, the baby clung onto Martinez and looked comforted. “By the end, he didn’t want to let go.”

On Oct. 24, the Anaheim Board of Education and the transportation department presented Martinez with a certificate of special recognition.

“He did an outstanding job,” Lewis says. “Without him there doing what he did, who knows what would have happened to the 15-month-old boy. Ricardo went above and beyond.”

— BRITTNI RUBIN

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Read more about: bus fires, first aid/CPR, First Student Inc., school bus crash, stop arm running/illegal passing

I am Noufal from INDIA , I am working in QATAR [gulf]as a heavy bus driver under QATAR GAS company in the british school. I have GCC licence, total 5 years experience in the bus driving then i have defence driving permit from QATAR GAS company . I looking a job in CANADA as a driver in the school bcoz i have expireance in the school. If there is any vacancy u may informe,please with big hopefully Noufal my email id :[email protected]

noufal    |    Jul 30, 2012 02:04 PM

They should make a movie, kool kid with a toy school bus n a hero driving one! Great stuff!!!!

Eduardo martinez    |    Jan 12, 2012 12:35 AM

i got to get him a superman t-shirt

julio    |    Jan 11, 2012 06:10 PM

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