High school heroes save bus driver and protect young kids
WHEN students McKenna Beal and Ash Breen saw their bus driver slump down in his seat during the morning school run, they could tell something was terribly wrong.
With a bus full of young children, the girls knew they had to act fast so Ash pulled out her mobile phone and called 000 straight away to arrange an ambulance.
McKenna started organising the children on the bus, some as young as six, into groups - trying to pair each younger child with an older person.
She also took a head count to ensure no child would be lost in the confusion.
McKenna, an American exchange student staying with the Breen family, then phoned each of the children's schools to let them know what was happening.
Ash said the bus driver had slumped against the window, barely managing to utter the words "I'm feeling crook" before he collapsed.
Both girls got out of their seats at the back of the bus and made their way over to the bus driver.
That is when Ash made the 000 call.
They noticed the bus driver's speech was slurred but soon he wasn't responding at all.
The girls, who are in Year 11 at Urangan State High School, opened all the windows to try to get fresh air
, and called the bus company.
Not long after the medics arrived to help the bus driver, a replacement driver arrived to continue the early morning school round.
Ash said she heard the medics say the bus driver may have suffered a partial stroke.
Urangan State High School deputy principal Ian Christie said he was tremendously proud of the girls and their quick-thinking actions.
But the girls said they did not think of themselves as heroes.
"We were just trying to help out," McKenna said.
Mr Christie said the school had received "fantastic feedback" from the primary schools that had students on the bus, including Sandy Strait State School, Star of the Sea and Torquay State School.
Murray Priebbenow from Wide Bay Transit said the girls had done a very good job in assisting the driver and the younger students travelling on the bus.
Bruce Jackson, deputy principal at Sandy Street State School, said the young students had all recovered well from the incident aside from the concerns they had about the health of the bus driver.