Bus driver Sarah's help for girl wins award

Sarah Meakin, one of our ilkeston flyer drivers who helped a vulnerable girl that was terrified of men has received an award for assisting the teenager and the paramedics who attended.

Sarah noticed the young customer was in distress so stopped the journey, talked to her, called 999 and even went in the ambulance with her to hospital where she stayed by her side.

A support worker before switching careers to driving for trentbarton two and a half years ago, Sarah was presented with the Community Award at the EMAS (East Midlands Ambulance Service) First Responders Awards on October 26.

Sarah said: “The young girl got on the bus and she appeared okay. After I’d driven about half a mile, I glanced round and she was not looking well.

“I asked her if she was okay, but she was starting to breathe really heavily and her eyes were glazing over. I asked her a few questions and she told me she was 15 and gave me the number of her support worker but there was no answer. I called 999.

“But when the first responder arrived it was a man and she said she was scared of men. So, I volunteered to do the checks he needed doing, such as testing her blood pressure. He decided we needed an ambulance but that was manned by two men. 

“The girl needed to go to hospital, so I went with her in the ambulance. I’d called my manager who sent another driver to get my customers on to their destinations. At the hospital I stayed with her until the medical staff were happy for me to leave. 

“In all I was with the child for more than four hours. I wouldn’t want a child, especially a vulnerable one, to be on their own in those circumstances.”

Sarah was nominated for the award by the First Responder, Peter Paynton, and was presented with the trophy by Beverley Barlow from the award sponsor Manor House Property. trentbarton was also given an award to acknowledge its driver training and its commitment to its customers and the community.

Sarah, who received her award at the ceremony at Risley Park, said: “Being nominated by the first responder for this award was a complete surprise. When I heard my manager wanted to speak about the incident I thought I was in trouble.”

Sarah’s service delivery manager Sue Blount said: “Sarah showed such empathy for this vulnerable girl and provided the care which enabled EMAS to get her to hospital.

“At trentbarton we encourage all our drivers to use their initiative when dealing with the many varied and unexpected situations they find themselves in due to the nature of the job. Sarah did exactly that and richly deserves the recognition of this award.”