- by David O’Leary
Published on the 12 September 2013 12:00
BY night he’s a mild mannered dad of three but by day he’s a hero bus driver, ready to leap from his cab to help the injured and distressed. And his services are in high demand.
Good Samaritan, Neil Reid, 38, from Gilmerton, has swung into action an incredible five times in the space of just ten months, leaving his bus mid-journey to deal with a variety of dramas.
The Lothian Buses driver has given aid to both the victim of a pub brawl and a traffic accident, was the first on the scene of an attempted suicide, helped a disorientated woman back to her home and most recently helped find a missing man before he had even been reported missing.
Depot bosses believe “super Neil” should be singled out for some sort of award, but the worker insists he’s just doing his job. He said: “I don’t think of what I did in any of these situations to be special, it’s my job to look after my passengers and members of the public.”
Neil’s sixth sense for city residents in need first kicked in on Leith Walk last November, when he saw a man assaulted outside a bar.
He immediately stopped his bus, rounded up two first aiders from his passengers and jumped out to tend the bloodied man ahead of the arrival of paramedics.
Just months later in January, he was on hand again to help a passenger who was knocked down by a taxi while crossing Waverley Bridge. Neil wrapped the young girl, who had suffered a broken leg, in his jacket and called for an ambulance.
In June he witnessed an incident which will “live with him the rest of his days” after he spotted a man falling backwards over the Dean Bridge.
Neil jumped from his bus and using only the light from his mobile raced to find him in dense undergrowth 30 feet below. He soon found the man “unconscious, but breathing hard” and with severe injuries to his face.
Again in June, he helped a disorientated woman who boarded his bus and phoned his depot to arrange for a colleague to bring her home.
And on Wednesday last week, he noted an elderly passenger in Colinton who seemed “out of sorts”. Alarmed by the man’s agitated state, he phoned his controller and asked for the police to be informed. Minutes later he was told the man’s distressed wife had just filed a missing persons report to try and find the gentleman.
The modest hero said: “I’d like to think if one of my daughters was hurt or in distress that somebody would stop and help. Every day bus drivers help out in similar situations, it’s just that all of mine have been clumped together over the last ten months.”
Ian Craig, CEO of Lothian Buses, hailed the hard-working driver. He said: “I’m continually delighted when I hear stories about drivers going above and beyond the call of duty to help out members of the public. However, what Neil has done over the past year is truly exceptional. We’re very proud to call him a Lothian Buses employee.”