Norwich bus driver takes son to hospital in double-decker
- 31 December 2012
- From the section Norfolk
A man had to drive his epileptic two-year-old son to hospital in his bus after an ambulance was delayed.
Bus driver Ross Cork was dropping passengers off in Norwich when he got a call his son Riley was having a fit.
After calling his manager at Konectbus, he drove to his father's home where Riley was being treated by a paramedic.
Despite sending a rapid response vehicle, ambulance bosses confirmed an ambulance was not immediately available, as it was "extremely busy".
Mr Cork, 27, was driving the double-decker number five bus linking Queen's Hills, Costessey, with Norwich city centre when he received a call from his wife at about 10:30 GMT on Saturday.
She told him Riley, who was being looked after by his grandfather Brian, was having a fit and needed to get to hospital.
"There was only one passenger on my bus but she overheard my conversation and she knows me," said Mr Cork.
"She said, 'Don't worry about taking me to the next stop' and got off."
He arrived at his father's home in Devonshire Street, eight minutes later.
"Luckily there was a parking space outside my dad's, but it was a bit tight getting there," he said.
"At one point I only had an inch or so either side of the bus."
He found Riley on the floor of his father's house, wearing an oxygen mask and being treated by a paramedic.
However, the paramedic could not take Riley to hospital because an ambulance had been delayed in Wymondham.
"He said, 'Can we take your bus?'" said Mr Cork.
"The paramedic carried Riley, and my father, brother-in-law and sister helped carry all the equipment on the bus and my wife got on board."
Mr Cork, then drove the three miles (5km) to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
"I did what most fathers would do. It just happened that I was in a double-decker bus," said Mr Cork.
"Some people said I could have lost my job for what I did, but even if Konect hadn't helped me I'd have still done exactly the same.
"Without that bus I don't know what we'd have done."
Riley, who has suffered from fits for the past 18 months, has now been diagnosed with epilepsy and is recovering at home.
'Took the initiative'
Steve Royal, operations manager for Konectbus, said: "I've worked on buses for 24 years but I can't recall anything like his.
"We're a small company and we know our staff and their circumstances. We try to help them as best we can in any eventuality.
"We put cover in place and were able to make the best of a crisis."
A spokeswoman for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said the emergency call had been received during an extremely busy period.
"We immediately sent a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle who was with the family in two minutes, and because an ambulance wasn't immediately available this dad did exactly the right thing by taking the initiative as he did," she said.
"Our paramedic was on board to give assistance en-route should it have been necessary and to provide reassurance to the parents.
"It was good-hearted of the bus company to allow him to use the vehicle. We hope the little boy is making a good recovery."