David Rae remained calm for his bus driver and schoolmates in an alarming situation.
Thinking back to what he learned at an assembly at the beginning of the school year, the 14-year-old eighth-grader at St. Patrick’s School in Yorktown Heights stepped forward to assist his bus driver who was suffering abdominal pains. He also kept the other students in the loop until another bus and driver arrived 15 minutes later to transport them home.
“I wasn’t too nervous because we had an assembly in the gym to discuss what to do if something like this happened. We have that each year at the start of the year. I remembered that and tried to do it,” David told CNY in an interview last week.
On Nov. 28, David and schoolmates had just departed school for home on the bus when driver Anthony Andriani started feeling abdominal pains and pulled the bus off the road. Andriani summoned David to the front of the bus and requested that he contact the bus company on the radio.
David, the only eighth-grader on the bus, gave his name and reported what happened to the driver along with the bus number and bus location so that the company could send another bus and driver.
With the driver’s resting his head on the steering wheel and still feeling abdominal pains, David went to the middle of the bus to tell his schoolmates what was happening.
“I knew if we all stayed calm and cool, everything would be all right,” said David, who is planning to attend Montfort Academy in Mount Vernon next fall.
Darlene Del Vecchio, the principal of St. Patrick’s School, received a phone call that day from a representative of the bus company.
“The bus company called us to see what the student’s name was. We looked up the kids on the bus route and knew he was the one,” Ms. Del Vecchio said.
“He’s fantastic, extremely intelligent, responsible, very spiritual and a leader. He’s calm and mature.”
Elizabeth Cahill, manager of the bus company in Yorktown Heights, mailed a letter to Ms. Del Vecchio and the school staff.
“After being an EMT for N.Y.C. for many years, I was struck by the maturity of this young man and how well he handled a very serious situation, as well as a seasoned EMT,” Ms. Cahill wrote. She added Andriani was well enough to return to work the next day.
David said this is the first school year Andriani has been his driver. He added he’s had opportunities to chat with Andriani because he was the first stop in the morning and last stop going home.
“He thanked me and said you did really, really well,” said David recalling his conversation with Andriani the next day.
“We’ve been pretty good friends. Since that day, we’ve had more conversations. We have a really good bond with each other.”