ETS driver credited with saving homeless man’s life
Laine Mitchell, CTV Edmonton
Published Sunday, February 10, 2019 8:36PM MST
Last Updated Monday, February 11, 2019 10:10PM MST
An Edmonton bus driver is being hailed a hero for saving a homeless man Sunday morning.
Derek Bailey was driving the 151 route to Castle Downs when he noticed a man slumped over in a shelter. He stopped the bus, full of people, to check on him.
"It was really scary. It was a real serious situation," Bailey told CTV News.
Upon seeing the man's condition, the driver insisted on calling an ambulance. Paramedics took the man to hospital.
"Had he been out there for another hour, maybe two at the most, he would've froze to death," Bailey figured.
Douglas Cowan was one of the passengers on the bus.
"People were just stunned to see this," he recalled, saying that everything worked out how it was meant to.
"I think God puts people where they need to be in times of crisis or emergency."
Cowan remembers Bailey asking the man if he needed any help and getting no answer, then helping the man onto the bus and to warm him up while calling 9-1-1.
“We hear about this all the time but when you see it, it's an entirely different situation,” said Cowan.
Emergency crews arrived within minutes, rushing the man to hospital where he remains in stable condition.
“Thank goodness the driver had the presence of mind to realize this person needed urgent help,” added Cowan.
The driver’s quick actions are being commended by the Edmonton Transit Service.
"It's great that we can share this and pat this operator on the back because he saved a man's life that likely would have frozen to death,” said ETS Spokesperson Rowan Anderson.
However, Bailey has shrugged away from the hero label.
"At the end of the day, I'm happy to hear he's okay," Bailey said.
"I'm just a regular person at the right place at the right time, doing what was expected of me in that moment."
Anderson said all ETS staff have been reminded to be vigilant during the recent cold snap.
“There's been directive from the top basically telling operators to keep an eye out for people who may be in distress.”
The city’s crisis diversion team can be reached 24/7 by calling 2-1-1.
With files from Regan Hasegawa and Dan Grummett