Friday 18 October 2019

Hero nurse who saved bus driver's life to be nominated for National Bravery Award

Aoife McGivney - the nurse who saved the life of a bus driver
Aoife McGivney - the nurse who saved the life of a bus driver
Aoife McGivney - the nurse who saved the life of a bus driver
Aoife McGivney - the nurse who saved the life of a bus driver
(Photo: Johnny Brew)
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

THE Lord Mayor of Dublin is to personally nominate a hero nurse who saved a bus driver's life during rush hour yesterday for a National Bravery Award.

Aoife McGivney, a nurse at the Mater Hospital, saved the driver's life on O'Connell Bridge after he collapsed while driving the bus.

The young nurse was listening to music on her morning commute when she noticed the bus began to lose control and passengers began screaming.

She ran to the front of the bus and took the driver's feet off the bus pedals, stopping the bus. She then moved the driver on to the footpath and carried out CPR before emergency services arrived.

Gardaí, an ambulance and Dublin Fire Brigade all responded to the ongoing medical emergency shortly after 8am.

In a statement released this afternoon, Lord Mayor Nial Ring said he will be contacting Ms McGiveney as soon as possible and will be putting her name forward for a National Bravery Award.

Aoife McGivney - the nurse who saved the life of a bus driver
Aoife McGivney - the nurse who saved the life of a bus driver

"These are given to people from all walks of life and all sections of society who carried out a deed of bravery with an effort to save human life involving personal risk. Aoife  certainly fits that criteria" he continued.

"When we look at Aoife's actions where, seeing the driver was ill, she ran to the front of the bus and took the driver's feet off the bus pedals and stopped the bus, we cannot but see this as an act of bravery and courage. The fact that she then moved the driver on to the footpath and carried out CPR before emergency services arrived is equally astounding" he added.

"I hope to meet Aoife soon and drop in to see the driver too."

Speaking with RTE Radio One's Ryan Tubridy, Aoife said she wants her memory of the driver to be the one of him speaking to passengers that morning.

Aoife McGivney - the nurse who saved the life of a bus driver
Aoife McGivney - the nurse who saved the life of a bus driver

"I need to see him alive," she said to Tubridy.

"He stopped breathing, his pulse stopped. I want to see him talking, like he was when I got on the bus, I want to be able to have that memory of him... it's important to recognise he's the main person we need to protect after all of this, we are so lucky he is here with us."

(Photo: Johnny Brew)
(Photo: Johnny Brew)

Aoife, who said she nearly missed her bus that morning, said she is hoping to visit him today.

"I don't know if he'll want to see me, but we're just so lucky," she said.

"It was a very scary situation to be in.

"Even if someone had first aid, it's thinking what to do, when to recognise to start going into CPR.

"That's the main reason I want to talk about all of this, I want to promote first aid and to encourage people to get their training, to actively recognise when it is time to intervene," she continued.

"Normally in the hospital we'd have nurses and doctors and all of the equipment.

"And in that situation I was like, 'oh my god'.

"There were people stepping forward with their own training, it was great to take a break and to pass it on to someone else."

Aoife thanked her work colleagues at the Mater Hospital for their medical training.

"I work in ENT, ears, nose, throat," she said.

"My training helped me a lot yesterday. In the hospital we're used to thinking fast, acting fast.

"The staff that work there are amazing. They helped me train into this. They do this work all the time, this happens on a daily basis in the hospital.

"This happened to be one of those lucky moments and I got to be there for him and do this for him.

"In this profession, when you do have that knowledge you normally do step up. I'm thankful he's alive and that we were able to help him."

The young nurse described how passengers on the bus began to panic when they thought the bus had knocked into a cyclist.

"We were coming up to O'Connell Street and the bus just started rolling, people started screaming, we were going slowly through the red lights and cars were beeping.

"People thought we'd ran over a bicycle, it was quite frightening at the time.

"The man fell off the side of the bike and was able to jump away. He received minor injuries we found out afterwards, but we weren't sure of that at the time.

"Everyone just panicked on the bus," she continued.

"I realised he was unconscious, he was making jerky movements and his breathing was poor. He wasn't well and the bus was still moving.

"We were rolling through red lights, cars were braking and people were jogging alongside the bus to see if we were okay.

"I stopped the bus and just said, 'we need to get this man outside'.

"I put my coat under his head and we got him into the recovery position. I monitored his breathing and his heart rate.

"Both had stopped. So I just started doing CPR compressions and asked people to call an ambulance."

A Dublin Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "The driver is recovering well,"

AA Roadwatch reported the incident was blocking the right lane on the northbound side of the bridge and the left lane of the southbound side of O' Connell Bridge. Delays on approach were building back to Westmoreland Street. 

The Luas Green Line also experienced short delays due to the incident. 

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