Doing The Right Thing

Tianie Torres (l) and Priscilla Bloom

PLYMOUTH – Sometimes policies and procedures can seem arbitrary or unnecessary. But at All-Star Transportation, policies and procedures have one goal in mind – keeping drivers, monitors and, most importantly, students safe.

Recently in Plymouth, a driver and monitor who followed All-Star procedures were able to help a student suffering a health issue arrive home safely.

Priscilla Bloom, a driver with more than 25 years’ experience, said that when 8-year-old Mary got on the bus after school, the school nurse told her to keep an eye on Mary because she was a bit out of sorts. Mary, a second grader, is a severe diabetic, Bloom explained.

Once the bus left the school, things began to go bad for Mary.

“Her sugar went down and she started to get shaky,” said Tianie Torres, who has served as the monitor on Plymouth Bus 13 since joining All-Star a year ago.

“She (Mary) has a pump, and its alarm started going off, indicating that her numbers were crashing,” Bloom added.

Following procedures, Bloom radioed the school and asked to speak immediately with the school nurse. “Good, bad or whatever’s going on, we communicate every day,” Bloom said of her relationship with the school nurse. The nurse said to give Mary a special pill that she carries with her, and that’s what they did.

“She still wasn’t feeling good, so I called back in and was told to give her apple juice. We stayed in contact with the nurse and who was in contact with her parents. We got her home safely. If she had needed more medical assistance, I would have pulled over and stopped the bus.”

Throughout the ordeal, Torres sat with Mary, comforting her and doing whatever Bloom told her to do.

Carol Giannini, the nursing coordinator for Plymouth Public Schools, was so impressed with how Bloom and Torres handled the situation that she wrote about it to Plymouth Schools Superintendent Martin Semel.

“I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know what an amazing job the bus driver on 13 (Ms. Priscilla) and her aide did this afternoon when a student was having a medical issue,” Giannini wrote. “They radioed in for help, were clear, gave me pertinent information and then followed instructions to help the student. Everything was fine in the end…and everyone did everything right. Student is home and mom was very happy with the care she received from the driver and aide.”

Gianni wrote further, “I called the bus company and spoke with them to let them know what an amazing, professional group of drivers we have here at PCS (and I’m sure across town, too).  Not only were they great this time, but they have handled other difficult situations with the same professionalism.”

Reflecting on what happened, Bloom and Torres seemed surprised by the attention. Afterall, they were simply doing their jobs and following procedures.