Monday, December 21, 2015

Local 637 driver knows how to save a life

Steve Swonger, a bus operator and safety trainer in Licking County, Ohio, is an example of the type of excellence we celebrate in the Teamsters Union. The Local 637 member at National Express has had quite a year.

Steve Swonger
In March, Steve witnessed a pedestrian being attacked by a pit bull while on his morning route. He stopped his bus to aid the helpless pedestrian, preventing what could have been a serious, potentially life-threatening injury:
I did what anyone would have done. Some situations are beyond our control, but I've always done things for people. I was out on my route and I stopped and helped the guy.
Following the incident, Steve returned to his bus and proceeded with his route. He was featured in local media for his bravery and big heart.

Fast forward three months, to June 17, and Steve once again found himself a witness to a potentially life-threatening event – a serious auto accident involving an adult and child. Steve stopped his bus and rushed over to the driver who was not breathing:
Just like the incident with the pit bull, my first reaction was to get out of my bus and see if I can't help. I just kept telling him to breathe, to stay with me.
Thanks to Steve's quick actions, the injured driver began to breathe and Steve kept the driver conscious until the paramedics arrived. Again, Steve returned to his bus and continued on with his route. Even accounting for the time spent saving a life, he was on time with all of his pick-ups and drop-offs!:
I couldn’t believe it happened again – but then again, we are out in the community and out amongst the people. We're on the front lines. But like I said, I did what anyone else would have done.
A proud Teamster, Steve is less modest when it comes to the role of his union, boasting that thanks to the union he feels safe and secure while behind the wheel:
Having the union behind us gives us the power to secure great contracts and retain great drivers. That’s important for the entire community. I’m glad we have the Teamsters. It’s a great team and I’m lucky to be a part of it.