Paratransit Driver's Swift Action Helps Save Passenger's Life

Felicia Howard quickly responded to a distressed passenger, recognizing her empty oxygen tank and promptly sought assistance from both medical center staff and Paratransit Dispatch to ensure the passenger's safety and well-being.

 Paratransit Driver's Swift Action Helps Save Passenger's Life
by Rasheida Wimberly

Feb 9, 2024

On Thursday, January 11, 2024, Felicia Howard, a Paratransit Operator for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA), had a scheduled pick-up at the Fresenius Medical Care Center (Dialysis) for an older female passenger. When the passenger boarded the GCRTA Paratransit vehicle, Felicia immediately sensed that something was wrong. The passenger was visibly distressed and having difficulty breathing. Without hesitation, Felicia engaged with the passenger, asking if she was okay. The passenger responded to Felicia stating that she never experienced such pain and discomfort before. Fueled by her commitment to passenger safety and well-being, Felicia swiftly assessed the situation. Her observations led her to notice that the passenger's oxygen tank was empty. Understanding the urgency of the matter, Felicia sought assistance from the medical center staff. While seeking assistance, Felicia also contacted Paratransit Dispatch to report the situation and request further support. 

Her quick actions ensured that the passenger received the immediate medical attention that she urgently needed. Thanks to Felicia's situational awareness, the passenger not only received timely medical assistance but also regained the ability to breathe on her own. For her remarkable actions, Felicia Howard was given the GCRTA Champion of Safety Award. This award is given to an employee who is recognized for identifying a safety hazard, assisting in the resolution and mitigation of a safety hazard, an employee that assists in incident investigations that aren't a part of everyday activities, or participating in the overall safety effort to reduce collisions, incidents, and injuries. This incident serves as a powerful reminder of the vital role transit operators play beyond transporting passengers. Felicia Howard's actions on that day embody the spirit of care and responsibility of our passengers, and connecting the community that defines the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.