Friday, November 1, 2013

For A Change, A Good Deed Goes Unpunished As Bus Driver Saves Woman

On Oct. 18, Darnell Barton, 37 a bus driver in Buffalo, N.Y. stopped his bus on a tall overpass when he saw a woman on the edge of the span apparently ready to jump off and commit suicide.
 Darnell Barton, a bus driver in Buffalo, N.Y., while on the job,
convince a woman not to commit suicide. For once
his bosses offered only praise, not flak.  

His bus had 20 high school students on it that he'd just picked up, and he told them to wait there.

Barton coaxed the woman from the edge, consoled the woman, and called for help. The woman was saved.

Where this story takes a welcome turn for me is the lack of negative consequences for Barton.

Too often, you see somebody do the right thing and either somebody interferes by criticizing him for their actions,  or their employers say they didn't follow the rules and must be fired.

This time, according to an account in the Buffalo News, everybody made the right move, which is so refreshing to hear. Barton stopped the bus and saved the woman.

Barton said much of the credit went to the kids on the bus, who sat quietly through the whole drama so as not to disturb the woman further. Plus, they all got a lesson about compassion from the bus driver.

Only when the emergency was finished did the kids make noise. When Barton got back on the bus, they gave him a round of applause.

His supervisors at NFTA the bus company had only good things to say about Barton, whose job with the company seems quite safe, thanks.

According to the Buffalo News:

"We are all extremely proud of Darnell's heroic actions," said Kimberley A. Minkel, the NFTA's executive director. "His quick and calm response during a very stressful situation speaks volumes about his character and his unwavering willingness to help someone in need.

I've been reading some of the reader comment sections of some accounts of Darnell's actions and was struck by the number of people who had the same initial reaction as I did. Readers either expected Barton to somehow get in trouble for his actions or were surprised he didn't, because doing the right thing often brings the hero trouble, because he somehow violated company policy.

In other words, he wasn't making money for the company and instead was exposing it to some sort of litigation risk. God forbid!

So it's refreshing that in this case, everybody at minimum acted reasonable, and most went beyond the call of duty.

This is a trend I could really embrace.

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