A school bus driver in Agawam, Massachusetts, was “just doing her job” when she saved the life of a teenager suffering a severe allergic reaction on her bus.
Susan Lecrenski is credited with saving the teen by thinking quickly and recognizing the threat.
The American Red Cross of Western Massachusetts recognized Lecrenski for “compassion and heroic actions.”
A student on the bus, Whitney Shortt, was also awarded the Hometown Heroes honor in a ceremony in Springfield, Massachusetts, this week.
Lecrenski looked past liability to save the day
The incident took place in October, when a sophomore student with a severe peanut allergy suffered an intense reaction triggered by airborne particles on Lecrenski’s bus. The particles could have come from the student sitting next to the teen, possibly as they talked or surreptitiously kissed.
The girl began coughing and choking, unable to breathe. The boy next to her called out, identifying the allergic reaction, knowing the girl was allergic to peanut butter and that he’d had some before getting on the bus.
Lecresnki reacted quickly, stopping the bus and immediately rendering aid to the girl, who’d forgotten her epinephrine auto-injector. She radioed for an ambulance and asked those aboard the bus if anyone had an EpiPen. Shortt had one and offered it immediately.
Protocol said that Lecrenski should “sit tight” and await the ambulance, but Lecrenski said she knew the situation was life-or-death and used the EpiPen anyway, potentially risking liability for herself as well as her job.
Lecrenski then got back in the driver’s seat and rushed to the school, where the school nurse was waiting and firemen from the local precinct were en route. The firemen credited the bus driver with saving the girl’s life.