Saving someone’s life can feel pretty awesome. Just ask eleven-year old Alexandra Mair, grade five student at École publique Julie-Payette in Kanata. Because in February 2019, Alexandra’s calm yet quick thinking helped save her bus driver Lynn’s life.
As a volunteer with the CAA School Safety Patrol® program, Alexandra was well trained in emergency procedures and how to keep students safe in school zones and aboard buses. It was one day while on bus patrol duty this past winter, that Alexandra had the chance to put all her learning into action. Bus driver Lynn Kennedy was having difficulty breathing and feared she would pass out. She motioned for Alexandra to come to the front of the bus while she pulled off to the side of the road. Fearing the driver was having a heart attack, Alexandra jumped into quick action by first giving her water and then using the two-way radio to call dispatch for help. She calmly answered questions about the driver’s condition, and then kept the seven young children calm and safe while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. But Alexandra’s duties didn’t end there. When a replacement bus driver arrived, it became quickly evident that many of the young children didn’t know their addresses and phone numbers. So Alexandra directed the driver to the correct homes, advising the children to learn their addresses and phone numbers by heart as they disembarked.
As a result of her actions that day, Alexandra was hailed as a hero by her school, Consortium de transport scolaire d’Ottawa and Campeau Bus Lines. Not surprisingly, she is planning to continue serving as a volunteer School Patroller when she enters grade six in the fall. And as for whether this incident has changed Alexandra, her parents say that with the exception of a closer bond with her school bus driver, Alexandra remains the same humble, easy going kid she has always been.
École publique Julie-Payette is just one of the 800 schools participating in the CAA School Safety Patrol Program, along with 20,000 students and a dedicated group of teachers, parents, police and bus consortia. Find out more about introducing this initiative into your community.