Student transportation company Stock Transportation recently recognized school bus driver Gary Bowen for his heroic action of helping save the life of a man who fell through the ice on a lake. Bowen was officially recognized and presented with a Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving by the Ontario (Canada) Provincial Police.
While setting up his fishing hut during an ice fishing outing, a fellow fisherman approached Bowen in a frenzy, telling him a man had fallen into the lake. Upon hearing this, Bowen and the fisherman approached the area where the man had sunk.
After assessing the situation, Bowen quickly rode to a nearby ice shack to seek equipment to rescue the man. Together, they pulled the man out from the lake with the only item Bowen had found from the ice shack – a measuring tape – and proceeded to keep the man warm until Emergency Medical Services arrived. The man had been in the icy water for over an hour, and thanks to Bowen and the other fisherman, he fully recovered.
“I am honored to have been recognized by the Ontario Provincial Police,” said Bowen in a recent news release. “I just did my duty as a citizen in times of need. Anyone in that situation would have sprung into action, I’m sure. To be honest, it was a very distressing situation and experience, but I am relieved that we were able to save that man’s life. Although the community has named me a hero, I believe the true star of this situation is the man who fell into the lake because of his resilience in not giving up despite being in a dire situation. I want to thank that man for his strong will to survive, and of course, the community for recognizing me.”
“The team and I couldn’t be any prouder and more honored to have a hero like Gary part of our amazing team of drivers,” said Tim Feick, general manager of Stock Transportation. “Gary is our resident 'ice-road-trucker' expert. He drives a home-to-school route into northern Ontario which is very isolated and prone to tricky winter weather conditions. I would not be surprised if his experience and familiarity with icy conditions played a part in how he was able to act quickly and safely to help rescue that individual on the lake. He is truly a humble, class act. We are lucky to call him our own.”