Motivational Stories

Posted: February 24, 2013 in Blog Posts

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?

I remember the day vividly..I was sitting at my desk eating lunch, for the first time in hours peace..and then, there was one of my First Aiders, standing over me “There’s an accident at the intersection!” Grabbing my Mobile bag, both Ann and I walked briskly out the building. I saw the school bus, and it hit me. So many thoughts went through my mind, “Was it small children on an outing?” “Adults heading out to a jobsite?”..and then I recall, my son saying they had a field trip that day. Taking a deep breath, we walked to the scene, there were cars everywhere, pulled over, the noise was deafening, I knew we had to assess the scene. I quickly scanned the area and saw people standing at the back of the bus. Approaching , we noticed the back door open and 4 people standing there. One was Ann’s husband, he called out to us, that they had full support of a teenage boy and someone had called the ambulance. Another person yelled out, that the bus had been struck by a garbage truck on the other side, Seeing that they had care at the back, I knew we had to assess the scene and get to the people on the bus. This was my first big accident scene. I saw the garbage truck had t-boned the bus and there was glass everywhere, I could smell fuel but saw no leak. I motioned to a person to help with traffic control, another I asked to escort the people on the bus to a safe location.

I walked onto the bus, quickly I ascertained that it was teenagers. We started to assess the first rows of the bus and asked teachers to assist those that weren’t hurt off the bus to safety. We quickly surveyed the bus and I heard cries of girls at the back of the bus, “Please get off of me” There was about 10 teenagers piled up on the floor at the back, beneath them a young girl crying and the back door open, where the teenage boy was being held straight. I could hear the sirens in the distance. My heart beating fast, I took a deep breath. Ann stayed at the front while I dealt with the back. Some of the kids had minor cuts, bruises and and we had to climb over seats to get to a few of them. Slowly the pile of kids began to subside, after each was assessed and helped off the bus. Luckily, most of them just scared, small bruises. I heard the paramedics come onto the bus, I heard the fire engines and I keep on going. I don’t remember how I responded to so many hurt kids. I remember hearing somebody say, its ok you can stay and help. There were three boys sitting beside each other, one had glass in his hair and he had his face covered with his hands, crying that it hurt. I knew he had glass and I knew he was starting to hyperventilate and go into shock. Talking softly, I assessed him and handed his treatment over to the paramedic.

As fast as the accident happened, it seemed like time was speeding and as I was told that Ann and I were free to go. I recall one of the paramedics asking me if I was ok and could I give my report to the Chief. Gathering up our bags, we went to make our report.

Everything seemed surreal as we walked back to the office, people asking questions, I felt exhausted and did not know why. I felt my adrenaline rushing through my veins and I just wanted water. I remember the president talking to us and we sunk to the floor, our head in our hands, gasping for breath.

That was in 1994 or 1996, time has blurred, yet the moment so etched in my mind.

Two days later, I asked for additional training for our workplace. In less than a week, we had 50 people trained in first aid and more registered. I registered to become an Instructor.

When asked why I take First Aid/CPR, I say ” You never know when you may need it, and if I didn’t have training that day” perhaps I would have sat outside watching, wondering why I wasn’t helping. You see, I am a helper and I love to help others. I already started my journey to becoming a safety professional, yet that was the day, safety became my inner motivation. It became reality.

The next time, you say, “Do I need this training?” “I don’t think I will ever use it” or simply you feel that attending safety training is burdensome. I tell this story. Maybe that day it may have been my son on that bus, or your Dad or maybe your spouse. The young man suffered serious injuries and for awhile it was touch and go. He made it that day, as four strangers held him still and two others helped his friends.

This is my tribute to those who help others “Keep strong” Remember your stories, remember your motivations and remember each day you lend a helping hand.

  1. You never can tell when one may need to utilize training safety or other

  2. What a wake up call!
    Wilfried Lehmkuhler, CHSC

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