Larbert Bus Driver recognised with coveted prize at the Scottish Transport Awards 2020
There was success for First Bus at the 2020 Scottish Transport Awards, which were held virtually for the first time ever on October 28th, as First Midland’s bus driver Pamela McCluskey scooped the award for Frontline Employee of the year.
Pamela McCluskey, who is a bus driver based out of the Larbert Depot, took away the prize for ‘frontline employee of the year’ for her heroic actions during her shift when she noticed flames coming from a flat.
Immediately concerned for all those inside the block, Pamela brought her bus to a halt nearby and called the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. While on the phone, she headed to the rear of the flats to assess the extent of the blaze and could see it was spreading towards a property directly above. She entered the building and began banging on all the resident’s doors and windows to spread the word and ensure residents evacuated safely.
Pamela’s real concern was that it was Bonfire Night and she feared that residents may just have attributed the smoke smell to nearby by fireworks being let off. All residents made it out safely and on arrival the fire brigade was full of praise for her swift and instinctive actions, which undoubtedly saved multiple lives in the incident.
Pamela said: “I am thrilled to have been recognised by my peers. I am both shocked and proud in equal measure to have won this prestigious award at this year’s Scottish Transport Awards.
“I appreciate being nominated for my actions and at the time I just leaped in to action and at no time did this for a pat on the back. I just did what I thought anyone else would do. I thought, ‘There might be kids in there and everybody might be fast asleep’.
“It was Bonfire Night and if they smelled smoke they might have thought it was people letting off fireworks. It was late and people would’ve been in their bed so it was just instinct. All that was going through my head was helping people and getting them out.
“I informed the duty controller at the time only because I was pleased that I still ran my service to time! First always instills in us to be caring and look after people and our passengers. I don’t think I did anything heroic — I just did what anybody else would do in that situation.”
Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director for First Bus in Scotland: “I am extremely proud that Pamela has been recognised by her colleagues and peers, but for her to win is a huge boost for the whole team at our Larbert Depot.
“After spotting a fire in progress at a block of flats and leaping into action by informing residents, Pamela has undoubtedly avoided what could only be described as a potential catastrophic disaster.
“I am proud of the whole team across Scotland to get this widespread recognition from their peers in the transport sector and the success for Pam is great news at a time when we could all do with a lift due to what is going on in the world.
“A huge thank you to our entire team across Scotland who continue to go above and beyond to keep people moving safely throughout the global pandemic.”
Two of Pamela’s colleagues; from First Midland and First Aberdeen respectively, were also highly commended in the same category for their own heroic acts;
- Garry Boyce is a driver at the Bannockburn depot and was highly commended for his swift actions in halting his service to come to the aid of family who had been involved in accident in a remote area.
- Frank Alexander is part of the Engineering team at First Aberdeen and has also been highly commended in this category for his life-saving heroics to save a colleague’s life after he collapsed in the depot after falling unwell in the workshop. Frank was able to administer CPR for an extended period of time while the emergency services could get to the scene. The paramedics in attendance were clear that Frank had undoubtedly saved his colleagues life and please to report his colleague did make a full recovery.
First had no less than eight shortlisted nominations in total at the event and the below summary details the entries:
Pamela McCluskey – First Midland – Frontline employee of the year – Winner
Garry Boyce – First Midland – Frontline Employee of the year – Highly commended
Frank Alexander – First Aberdeen – Frontline Employee of the Year – Highly Commended
First Glasgow –Contribution to Sustainable Transport – Shortlisted
First Aberdeen - Tap and Cap – Innovation Award - Shortlisted
First Glasgow – 77 service – Best Bus Service – Shortlisted
Bright Bus Tours – The not boring bus tour – Excellence in marketing – Shortlisted
First Glasgow - Transport Operator of the Year – Shortlisted