Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 9:30 a.m., June 24)
Cumberland resident named 2011 Transecure employee of the year

Special to OrléansOnline.ca

The City of Ottawa ecognized the outstanding efforts of 12 OC Transpo employees at the 22nd annual Transecure Awards on Thursday, including a Cumberland resident who helped avoid a potentially disastrous situation.

OC Transpo employee Ghislaine Belair was named the 2011 Transecure Employee of the Year. Ms. Belair was honoured for her role in helping a colleague in an emergency situation. The Transecure program is a community watch program on wheels, with OC Transpo employees looking out for the safety of all people by notifying emergency services, assisting individuals in distress and offering a safe haven in any OC Transpo vehicle.

“Ghislaine is a true hero,” says Cumberland Councillor Stephen Blais. “For our transit employees, going above and beyond the call of duty is a daily occurrence, and we are grateful for their dedication.”

Ms. Belair was a passenger on the 95 Trim bus leaving Hurdman Station on June 15, 2011 when she noticed some erratic behaviour that indicated something was wrong with the bus operator.

During the first minutes after leaving the station, the operator sat through several sets of traffic light changes at two intersections and braked abruptly at an exit.

Ms. Belair moved closer to the driver to observe his behaviour and asked the operator if he was okay. While the operator replied that he had something in his eye, Ms. Belair could see he appeared distressed and disoriented. At the same moment, she realized the bus was moving forward and heading to a lamp post on a median.

Ms. Belair grabbed the wheel and began steering while trying to lift the operator’s foot off the accelerator. A male passenger came to Ms. Belair’s aid, put his foot on the brake and brought the bus to a full stop. Ms. Belair signalled to a nearby bus operator to radio for help. Paramedics and OC Transpo personnel arrived on the scene to aid the operator.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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