Little Lifesaver

Published 8:35 pm Monday, October 20, 2014

GATES – Quick action by a third-grade student helped to save a life here last week.

Eight-year-old Terence Reid Jr. is being praised as a hero after the driver of his school bus suffered a medical problem. The youngster, who attends Buckland Elementary School, is the son of Terence Reid Sr. and Yolanda Dillard of Roduco.

Buckland Elementary student Terence Reid Jr. proudly displays a “Safe Rider” certificate awarded for his heroic actions last week when his bus driver became ill.

Buckland Elementary student Terence Reid Jr. proudly displays a “Safe Rider” certificate awarded for his heroic actions last week when his bus driver became ill.

He was among the passengers onboard Bus #93 on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 17 that was only a couple of miles from the school. It was at that time where the driver became ill, but was able to stop the bus and use a two-way radio on the vehicle to advise of her circumstances.

Gates County Deputy Ray Campbell, an SRO (School Resource Officer) based at Central Middle School, heard the call for help.

“I was traveling on (highway) 158 at that time, monitoring the school bus radio because you never know when something may take place,” Campbell said. “I heard an adult voice, that was very frantic, calling for help. Then the radio went silent. The next voice I heard was that of a student, also frantically calling for help. That student repeated the plea for help. When the student was asked of the location of the bus, he said they were on Shepherd’s Lane. Giving us that location was critical in allowing emergency responders to make a hasty response. That young man is to be praised for his actions.”

Campbell said he arrived at that location five minutes later.

“The driver was alert and talking at that point, but said she had felt very light-headed and her arm was numb just before being able to bring the bus to a stop,” Campbell said. “All of the students on the bus were fine, and appeared to be very calm in light of what was going on.”

Campbell added that Gates County EMS arrived and transported the driver to the hospital. She is now recovering at her residence.

“Terence is one of those kids that wants to be involved; he is always concerned about the safety of others,” said Vivian Goldsby, Principal of Buckland Elementary. “We were very pleased with his actions of last week; he was calm; clear and precise about the location of the bus. He is a very good student and we’re extremely proud of him.”

Goldsby added that due to his heroic actions, Terence was given the Safe Rider of the Month Award. She said this is the second such award earned by Reid as he also recognized during the previous school year.

The heroic actions of the third-grader did not go unnoticed by the administration of Gates County Public Schools.

“Courage comes in many shapes, sizes and forms. In Gates County, Terence Reid, a student at Buckland Elementary School exhibited quick thinking, bravery and courage on a day to day life level which some adults would panic in most situations,” said GCPS Superintendent Dr. Barry Williams.

“From the desk of the superintendent and the Board of Education, we, without reservation, consider Terence a super hero,” Williams continued. “We think of heroes as leaders of the past or adults who run into flaming buildings, but our superheroes are our leaders of tomorrow. Everyone in Gates County is proud of Terence and will honor his actions on Nov. 3, the next meeting of the Board of Education.”

“We are very proud of what Terence was able to do and how he reacted,” said the student’s father, Terence Reid Sr. “She (the driver) called for my son to help her. She told him what to do…to call it in (on the radio). He also kept everyone on the bus calm and quiet while help was on the way.

“Terence is very well-behaved….we teach that,” the father added. “He likes to play football and basketball and his mother and I told him he needed to keep his grades up and be on good behavior to play. He’s done that.”

Now he’s accomplished even more, something that the majority of people will never experience….help save a life.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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