Students save Scottsdale bus driver who suffered medical emergency during route
PHOENIX — Quick action from students on a middle school bus in Scottsdale helped save a driver who suffered a medical emergency Friday morning.
Johnny, a sixth grader at Cocopah Middle School, said the driver pulled over the bus, asked students to put down windows and started showing signs she was in distress.
“I saw the bus driver shaking out of control, hand over her heart, leaning back, tearing up and gasping for air,” Johnny told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.
“It sounded like she had run 100 miles in a row without stopping.”
The driver asked students to call 911. The first firefighters arrived about five minutes after the initial distress call, aiding the driver and safely evacuating the students from the bus.
Before emergency personnel arrived, the driver asked the children to call her mother to tell her she loved her in case she didn’t make it.
Johnny was the student who spoke with the driver’s mother, talking with the woman for about 20 minutes.
“Everything was going on super fast. It was fast and scary,” Johnny said.
The students eventually made it to school. The bus driver was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Nick Noonan, Cocopah’s principal, praised the involved students, including Johnny, for their immediate action.
“The parents had no idea the monumental efforts they went through,” Noonan said. “In fact, the kids were really concerned about the bus driver and really concerned about being late to school.”
Noonan said the driver has been released from the hospital and hopes she will be back on her route next week.
“This is a driver that they all love and respect a lot,” Noonan said. “I think for them it was like helping out a family member. Action needed to be done and they jumped into it.”
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Tasler-Oatley contributed to this report.