“I don’t consider myself a hero, my training has taught me what to do in case of an emergency.
“I don’t consider myself a hero, my training has taught me what to do in case of an emergency. I thought fast and made the right decisions, just like every other bus driver.” Daniel Martinez may decline being called a hero, but in my book he was great man for what he did and how he handled the situation.
We have all heard of pepper spray, but a lot of us may not know the harm it causes. This was about to change, a couple of weeks ago a Carmody Middle School student accidently sprayed pepper spray in bus S54 on their way home from school. This incident sent eight students in need of medical attention. The outcome could have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for the quick action of the bus driver, Daniel Martinez. He thought fast and made the right decisions to lead the students back to school for their safety.
I got to sit down with Mr. Martinez and asked him a few questions about how he handled the situation. He said, “At first I didn’t even know it was pepper spray that was being sprayed around, until it reached my seat and I started to cough a little. I had the feeling something was wrong and so I asked the students what was being sprayed and I heard the reply of pepper spray. My actions kicked in and I knew what I had to do. ”
He made sure the students weren’t seriously injured and opened all of the windows near him to let the fumes out. Then he called terminal to see what they wanted him to do. “I wasn’t physically injured, so I told the terminal that I was bringing the students back to school to seek medical attention for those who needed it. ” With him going back to Carmody Middle School, he stopped panic and chaos from rising. Just imagine if your mom and dad got the call that your bus had a pepper spray accident and now you are standing on the side of the road in traffic. This would have caused great concern and panic. It would have been a different outcome, if Mr. Martinez didn’t know what to do.
Daniel Martinez has been driving busses for 6 years now and said, “When people ask me what I do for a living I say I am a bus driver, but a professional bus driver. I have gone through training and let me tell you, that was a very intense training cycle I went through to have the job I have today.” Even though in bus school you don’t learn about what to do in case of a pepper spray incident, Daniel knew without training for this certain kind of emergency what to do to make sure his kids were safe and could get the proper medical attention they need. Daniel said “It is my job to get the students to and from school safely and I take my job very seriously.”
Mr. Martinez wanted to tell all Colorado Kid Readers,” Be sure you know how to act on the bus because the bus is your responsibility too and please don’t bring pepper spray on the bus!”