Bus drivers help to save ill passengers

Updated: 2012-02-18 08:10

By Xu Jingxi (China Daily)

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Bus drivers help to save ill passengers

Li Qun, wife of Luo Yaojin, a man who passed out after his difestive tract hemorrhaged on a bus on Jan 23, cries tears of gratitude while grasping the hans of Zeng Caixing (right), the bus driver who drocve Luo to the hispital for treatment.

Guangzhou - Three bus drivers used their buses as ambulances to save passengers' lives in the past month in Guangdong province, where four months ago 18 passers-by left a girl who was run over to lie in the street.

Zeng Caixing, 40, who drives bus No 277 from Guangzhou to Foshan, started the trend. On Chinese Lunar New Year's Day, an elderly man passed out on Zeng's bus because of heavy digestive tract hemorrhaging. The man's wife cried out for help.

Without hesitation, Zeng cleared the bus of other passengers, changed the electronic sign on the bus to read "SOS, emergency" and drove the man and his wife to Huangqi Hospital in Foshan. They arrived within five minutes.

According to Wang Qunfu, the doctor in charge, people with digestive tract hemorrhaging need emergency care within four to six minutes. Had the man arrived five minutes later, he would have died.

In his race against the clock, Zeng ran a few red lights when he saw the road was clear. "It was an instinctive reaction. All I wanted was to save the passenger's life," he said.

Zeng was awarded 8,000 yuan ($1,270) by his company, Guangzhou Trolleybus, Guangzhou Transportation Work Committee and Guangzhou Foundation For Justice and Courage. He was not fined for running the red lights.

"We highly commended and rewarded those accommodating bus drivers to establish them as models whom other drivers and the general public should learn from," Guangzhou Transportation Work Committee told China Daily. "Bus companies can take account of the circumstances in dealing with drivers violating traffic rules in special cases."

Luo Yaojin, the man who fell ill, has recovered and been discharged from the hospital.

"I believe any trained bus driver would do the same thing," Zeng said, adding that his company has training sessions for drivers that include similar scenarios.

On Jan 30, Huang Zhaoxin, Zeng's colleague at Guangzhou Trolleybus, took a woman to the hospital who had fainted when her blood pressure plunged. The passengers volunteered to stay on the bus and gave her first aid.

Ten days later, Tan Weibin, another of Zeng's colleagues, stopped his bus to wait for an ambulance when a woman fainted. Tan explained the situation to the other passengers and said anyone in a hurry could get off. A small number complained about Tan's decision and were reluctant to get off.

"A bus is a public transportation vehicle, not a privately owned car. We drivers have to ask for passengers' permission and cooperation before we use the bus to deal with emergencies," Zeng said.

Li Qun, the wife of the man rescued by Zeng, is grateful that the other passengers immediately got off the bus without complaint.

"In addition to the driver, the other passengers helped save my husband's life," the 68-year-old retiree in Foshan said.

By coincidence, the incident on Zeng's bus is near the place in Foshan where the 2-year-old girl Xiao Yueyue was ignored by 18 passers-by after she was run over twice and lay in the street. Finally, a woman took her out of the street and got help. The girl died in the hospital a week later.

After the incident became known, people from Foshan were labeled as cold-blooded.

"Luo's rescue on the bus shows that it is unfair to judge the morality of people in a certain area on the basis of a single incident," read a commentary in Yangcheng Evening News.