Modest bus driver Jason Skidmore, 49, has been praised as an ‘absolute hero’ by several witnesses after assisting an elderly man who collapsed while getting onto a Reading Buses vehicle
As a result Jason, a Reading Buses driver for five years, has been nominated for a Star of the Month Award. His ‘absolutely fantastic’ actions began when a customer’s legs buckled as they boarded Jason’s bus on Friar Street. He was nominated by another passenger on the vehicle for not only helping the man to a seat, but for also fetching him a bottle of water from Sainsbury’s.
“I got off the bus at Priest Hill so didn’t see the end of the episode, but I understood that Jason was going to stop the bus near the man’s house and take him to his front door,” said the passenger in their nomination. “I was most impressed.”
Unfortunately, the passenger took a turn for the worse at the Caversham Heights Post Office stop where Jason, with the assistance of another person, was able to get the man into the shade at his home, a relatively short distance away.
Jason called 999 to summon assistance for the man, answering what were described as ‘loads of questions’ about what had happened and giving his own contact details to the call handler.
In their nomination, the neighbour wrote: “Jason then waited with us until I had contact with a relative who gave directions for accessing the gentleman’s house so that he could be lifted into his home and to a safe seat in the living room. The other neighbour and I would not have been able to manage this without him.”
In looking after the gentleman, Jason was described as ‘brilliant, respectful, polite, gentle and caring.’
“Jason was happy to help us and stay for as long as he was needed to make sure all was ok for the gentleman. He was absolutely brilliant and a total credit to your team,” the neighbour continued.
Reading Buses understands from the neighbour that the elderly man is recovering ‘thanks to the very quick and enormously caring actions of your bus driver.’ The neighbour added: “Jason was incredibly humble about his main role in helping this gentleman to a safe place, but each of my neighbour, myself and the gentleman’s niece think that he is an absolute hero and deserves recognition for his actions and demeanour throughout.
Caroline Anscombe, Reading Buses HR Director, said: “Jason responded fantastically in a very stressful situation. He truly went above and beyond to ensure the safety and comfort of his passenger which, combined with his all-round excellent performance and commitment to fantastic customer service, is why Jason truly deserves the Star of the Month Award.”