Bus driver pulled away from man in medical distress

A Vancouver woman speaks out after a bus driver allegedly abandoned her to deal with a man in medical distress.

Under medical distress

Robyn was riding a bus through the Downtown Eastside when she saw a man suffering from what she feared was an overdose. The man did not appear to be moving or breathing and it looked like a serious situation. She made a split-second decision that this person needed help.

Vancouver first aid

The immediate delivery of the appropriate life-saving skills is vital during emergencies.

The unconscious man was at a bus stop near East Hastings Street and Jackson Avenue and Robyn approach the bus driver for help. She stated that his response troubled her.

The bus driver seemed inconvenienced and frustrated that the issue was wrong to their attention. The bus driver let out a big sigh and it was clear that it was an inconvenience that he had to stop the bus and potentially deal with the situation.

The concerned passenger also asked the driver to call 911 but he told her to make the call instead. After she stepped off the bus to check on the man’s condition, the driver drove off. According to TransLink, it received a complaint on how the situation was handled and has started an investigation.

Spokesperson Jill Drews stated that drivers are trained to call TransLink’s dispatch center when they see someone in trouble on or near transit and that operators will dispatch for emergency services. He added that the driver on another bus ultimately did call the dispatch center. It remains unclear whether the two drivers communicated with each other.

According to Robyn, before the arrival of the paramedics, she was approached by someone who was carrying naloxone which is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. The stranger administered a couple of doses of the antidote and the man regained consciousness.

By the time the ambulance arrived, the man was alert, breathing and standing up.

Timely action to save a life

The immediate delivery of the appropriate life-saving skills is vital during emergencies. You can enroll in a first aid course to learn these skills including CPR to save lives.

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Learn how to help by enrolling in a first aid training class and for more information, check out these sources:




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