A popular TV character still quoted by The A-Team fans would have remarked to a recent “rescue operation” at the George Transport Hub: “I just love it when a plan comes together”.
Customer service staff at GO GEORGE are expected to be alert and sensitive to passengers’ needs and have to that end all received first-aid training too. This includes the Champions that work on the buses and at bus stops, the information officer at the Hub, and the Call Centre agents. The first spotter of an unwell passenger waiting at the Hub recently, however, was not a staff member, but the cleaning lady, Zoliswa Matiya. The passenger prefers to remain anonymous.
“Zoliswa came to call me at the info kiosk to come and see to a passenger sitting in the Hub, looking very sick,” says Meloney Frans, the GO GEORGE information officer. “I gave the woman water to prevent dehydration, since she was nauseous and vomiting repeatedly. When it became clear that she was not getting better, I asked our Call Centre to phone the ambulance service.”
In the meantime, Champion Althea Slater happened to pass through the Hub and took over from Meloney. “I kept urging her to drink water, but I was becoming very concerned about this lady and phoned the ambulance service again after a while. When another hour had passed, I called our supervisor to get permission to accompany the passenger to hospital on our bus travelling in that direction.”
Althea and colleague Rosey Hoeds escorted the sick passenger right into Casualties at George Hospital, helping to complete the paper work and making sure that she was comfortable.
“We realised that her family might be concerned about her should she not return home, so we offered to phone them before we leave. Unfortunately, she could not give as a contact number, but only an address,” says Althea. “At first, we considered taking our next scheduled bus to that area and go look for the house, but then decided it would be quicker to make use of the police emergency number, 112. The police were very helpful and immediately went to the passenger’s relatives to inform them of the situation. Apparently, they went to fetch her from hospital later that night.”
GO GEORGE Manager, James Robb, thanked the participants in this “small drama” that brought comfort to a passenger in need. “Our aim is to make using the bus service a pleasant experience for all,” he said. “It warms our hearts to see a team effort and initiative like this, and our staff’s genuine concern, offering to go the extra mile.” The passenger expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation for the team’s support.