ROUND ROCK, Texas — The clear thinking and quick response of a student here helped save the life of a school bus driver who recently suffered a medical emergency.
Courtney Garcia, an eighth-grade student at Deerpark Middle School, leapt into action on Nov. 10 when her bus driver became unresponsive and unable to use her radio, according to a news release from Round Rock Independent School District (ISD).
“I noticed that our bus driver was having some struggles,” Garcia told the school district. “No one really did anything so I just stood up because I felt like I could help, but also it was a moment of panic. It’s always good to help others.”
Garcia was able to use the two-way radio with no training or experience and reach district transportation officials, who sent emergency medical help. Garcia calmly relayed the driver’s condition as well as what was happening with other students on the bus and kept students calm until help arrived, said Fritz Klabunde, transportation director for the district.
Garcia also made sure the parking brake was set and the bus was in neutral, and helped the driver until help arrived, Klabunde told SBF.
“Dealing with a medical emergency while keeping the driver and students safe showed true courage and leadership,” he added. “We would like to thank Courtney Garcia for her sound judgment and help.”
Garcia received recognition on Nov. 16 for stepping up to help the driver. She was presented with a certificate of recognition by the school district in the transportation department office. In attendance were Garcia’s mother, the school’s principal and vice principal, the chief operating officer, Klabunde and the bus driver.
“We wanted to do something to recognize her for what she did,” Klabunde told SBF.
The driver, who does not want to be identified, is doing well after the incident, he added.