Off-duty driver commandeers bus to take injured OAP to hospital

Driver Ivan Smith used a sixes bus to take an injured pensioner to hospital after 40-minute wait for an ambulance. Photograph by Lionel Heap.

Driver Ivan Smith used a sixes bus to take an injured pensioner to hospital after 40-minute wait for an ambulance. Photograph by Lionel Heap.

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A Belper man has been praised for his actions after using a bus as an ambulance to take an injured pensioner to hospital.

Off-duty trentbarton driver Ivan Smith went to the aid of the elderly man on Campbell Street, who had fallen and was bleeding from his head.

Also nearby was Dr Mac Thacker, Consultant Osteomyologist at the Belper Backpain Clinic. Dr Thacker said: “Ivan did a great job.

“When I got there someone had already called for an ambulance. We kept him warm with blankets from the vet on Campbell Street.

“Because an ambulance did not arrive I called them again but they could not give an estimated time of arrival. Meanwhile, the poor chap was getting colder and confused.

“I thought the situation was getting serious and was potentially an emergency. I couldn’t be sure where the bleeding was coming from so I thought it was important to get him to hospital.

“And then Ivan said he could borrow a bus to take him to hospital. Ivan couldn’t drive and also look after him so I went with them.

“Ivan deserves congratulating for his resourcefulness.”

Ivan, 52, who drives the sixes and sevens from Belper, said: “It was the end of a normal working day and I was just walking to the car park when I saw the chap lying on the floor asking for help. He was bleeding and I’m a bit phobic about blood but had to overcome that.

“I gave my phone to another man to call for an ambulance. I got a child’s booster seat from my car to prop his head up. After the doctor couldn’t get an answer as to when an ambulance would arrive I said I could take him on a bus.

“I went to the Belper depot and there was a sevens bus that was being cleaned. I chucked the cleaner off and said I’d bring the bus back later.”

Ivan, who has been driving buses for trentbarton since 2009, added: “We drove to the hospital and pulled up in an ambulance bay so the chap could be taken in with a wheelchair and he was admitted. trentbarton drivers help people in lots of ways, but that’s the first time I’ve had to double up as an ambulance.”

Tom Morgan, director of service delivery at trentbarton, said: “Our drivers are trained to use their initiative and encouraged to act to help anyone in need. Even off duty, Ivan more than lived up to that ideal and deserves great credit for his actions.”