Burke County Bus Driver Praised for Her Actions Following Accident Monday [PHOTO ADDED 10/11 7 a.m.]
10/10/2013 2:50:39 PM
Table Rock Middle School teacher and bus driver Jodi Fisher and the middle school students on her bus have been credited with helping the driver of another school bus and the students onboard when that bus overturned on a rain-slick road Monday morning (October 7).
Fisher was just finishing her last stop of the morning when she and her passengers saw the other bus skid on the wet pavement, flip on its side and slide toward her bus. Fisher immediately radioed the garage and told them to call 9-1-1.
Fisher got out of her bus and went to the emergency exit at the back of the wrecked bus, which was carrying a bus driver and nine students from Oak Hill Elementary School. She opened the back door and helped the students jump out. The elementary school students were sent to Fisher’s bus while she went to check on the driver, Sherry Patt.
According to Fisher, Patt was the last person to get off the wrecked bus as she made sure all the students got out safely. Patt was bleeding from a leg injury, so Fisher returned to her bus where she told her middle schoolers to take care of the elementary school students.
She set out her orange traffic triangle as a warning to other drivers, got her first-aid kit and went back to apply pressure to Patt’s injured leg. Fisher said Patt’s only concern was for the safety of the children from her bus. Another woman on the scene also called for help and called Patt’s husband for her. Fisher attended to Patt until paramedics arrived.
Paramedics performed triage on the elementary school students at the scene. Patt and all but two of the students were transported by ambulance to Grace Hospital. The parents of the other children took them home and later to the hospital.
The injured students, who ranged in age from kindergarten through fifth grade, were all treated and released by midday Monday, as was Sherry Patt.
The middle schools students were praised for comforting the younger children and assuring them that everything was going to be OK.
Fisher’s bus was blocked in by the wreck, so a third bus arrived on the scene to take her and the middle school students to Table Rock. Fisher, who had blood on her clothes, went home to take a shower, but soon returned to school to teach her seventh grade science and social studies classes.
Table Rock Principal Wendi Barber said school counselors were available for the students who witnessed the wreck. Those who wanted to were allowed to go home. Counselors at Oak Hill and Table Rock are still available to students who wish to talk about the accident.
(Pictured: Jodi Fisher, courtesy of Burke County Public Schools Public Relations Officer Cheryl M. Shuffler.)
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