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Thank you

March 20, 2015
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The handful of phone calls early Wednesday morning were of the type that every newsroom receives with dread: Do you know there's a school bus on fire down near Vincennes?

Details provided by the callers were scant but the word "students" coupled with the phrase "school bus on fire," is enough to send a chill as you begin to follow up, all the while hoping there's no catastrophe to report.

Fortunately, thanks to the quick thinking of the bus driver, we're happy to say the news was the best possible: There were no injuries.

Although the bus was "fully engulfed" when firefighters arrived, the driver had already evacuated all 16 of her charges, students ranging from kindergartners to middle schoolers attending a preparatory charter school here in the Cape.

According to officials, she had pulled over after smelling something unusual and quickly got the children off the bus and moved them a safe distance away before it caught fire.

Witnesses told arriving firefighters that the blaze had spread throughout the bus in just a couple of minutes.

Acting Battalion Chief Mark Muerth said it best.

"If she had hesitated or questioned whether or not she should have gotten the kids off the bus when she first smelled the odd odor, the outcome could have been very different," Battalion Chief Muerth said in a prepared statement. "Her clear thinking and quick actions ensured everyone's safety."


The driver has requested that her name not be released. Officials say she believes she was just doing her job and so has shied away from recognition.

She is to be commended nonetheless for her quick thinking and we add our thanks to the gratitude no doubt wholeheartedly felt by some very relieved parents.

Sometimes the difference between heroism and regret is the blink of an eye.

In this case, we have a quiet hero who didn't blink before doing what needed to be done.

-Breeze editorial



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