A hero bus driver from Cardiff, who currently works for First Cymru, is to be given one of the company’s Silver Dragon awards as the company takes steps to recognise his brave actions in saving a toddler from train tracks on New Year’s Day.
John Noctor (51), from Llanrumey in Cardiff, is a driver on the Cardiff Park and Ride service, which is currently operated by First. On New Year’s Day he was travelling to London to watch his beloved Cardiff City play Arsenal when he spotted a woman with a buggy struggling to get onboard a train at Gospel Oak Station. While on his way over to offer her some assistance getting on the train he noticed that the child had fallen into the gap between the train and the platform. So he leapt into action, taking steps to rescue the child.
John says: “I just saw it happen and did what I think anyone else would have done. I could see through the window of the train this lady struggling to get her buggy on and so I went to lend a hand. By the time I got there though her buggy was empty. I looked around the platform and couldn't see anything but then I heard the crying from underneath the train. I lowered myself down and reached for the child. Thankfully the child reached up and I was able to lift them up to the platform. It was all quite dramatic, but really just a knee jerk reaction. I found out afterwards that my nephew had jammed the train doors and hit the alarm to prevent it from moving off – so it was something of a team effort by us, and some other fans who also helped us raise the alarm.”
On his return to work after the New Year his bosses at First Cymru became aware of John’s brave actions and took steps to recognise his quick thinking and brave behaviour, nominating him for one of the company’s new Silver Dragon Awards. The award scheme, set up last year, is designed to recognise and reward those who go above and beyond what is expected of them, and who make a difference to the company or the industry as a whole. To date only one other Silver Dragon award been given out. John’s award is being given on the basis that he has demonstrated how caring, thoughtful and brave bus drivers can be, despite whether they’re on duty or not.
Talking about him, John’s manager Steve Davies, Coaching Manager for First Cymru, says: “John is an absolute credit to our business. He’s worked with us for the past six years and in that time has held a number of roles. He’s even received a previous commendation: he was nominated for a national safety award within FirstGroup having successfully evacuated and looked after some school children following a minor vehicle fire. In that instance he kept everyone safe and calm, and away from the coach, while calling the fire brigade. He really is a hero, but in a typical Welsh way, he’s very humble about it all!
“Sadly John will be leaving our business at the end of this month, when the contract for the Cardiff Park and Ride passes to a new operator. We are very sad to see him go, but would wish him all the very best for the future. While bittersweet for us it’s nice that, in parting with him, we are able to recognise and reward his efforts with the Silver Dragon award. ”
In addition to receiving the First Cymru Silver Dragon Award, John is also due to be honoured by Cardiff City Football Club. He has been invited to the next home game by the chairman Vincent Tan, and is due to receive an award from the club in front of the fans.
For more information about First, log onto: www.firstgroup.com/cymru.