Sheffield bus driver honoured for going extra mile on route

Alan Knapp, centre, receiving his 'Bus Driver of the Year' award
Alan Knapp, centre, receiving his 'Bus Driver of the Year' award

A bus driver from Sheffield has been honoured for helping to revive a passenger having a heart attack.

Alan Knapp, aged 43, from Hillsborough, scooped the Sheffield bus driver of the year accolade at the annual North of England bus awards.

His name was put forward by colleagues for his actions in helping a woman having a heart attack on his bus as he drove around the streets of Sheffield.

When the woman’s condition was reported to him, he stopped his bus and used his first aid skills to help revive her.

He resuscitated her in the aisle of his bus while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

The heart attack victim – a 79-year-old Sheffield woman – died in hospital a few days later, but her relatives said Alan’s actions gave them the chance to say farewell to her properly.

They were so impressed they contacted Alan’s bosses at First to say thank you to the driver, who later received a commendation.

Dave Graham, First’s Sheffield staff manager, said: “Alan is certainly a worthy winner of this award, because he acted in a fast and responsible manner to resuscitate the woman. He impressed all his colleagues.

“His actions gave the lady’s family the chance to say goodbye to her and they were very appreciative for this precious gift of extra time.”

Alan, who has been a driver since 2004, said he remembers vividly the drama that unfolded on his 25A service as it headed across Sheffield, from Bradway towards Woodhouse.

He said: “It wasn’t pleasant, but I had to do what I could to help her.

“She had suffered a huge heart attack, but I managed to get her breathing and then the paramedics arrived.

“Nothing like this has happened to me before.

“All the customers on the bus were looking at me and I had to resuscitate her in the aisle.”

Ben Gilligan, service delivery director for First in South Yorkshire, said: “Alan led the way in going the extra mile for a customer and he should be extremely proud of all his hard work and dedication.”