journalism / news

Victorian bus crash hero gets award


SHANNON POWER November 22, 2013, 2:03 pm

Melbourne woman Dawn Fredericks didn’t let her own injury stop her from saving 30 children with special needs when their school bus crashed, rolled on its side and began filling with smoke.

The carer at Emerson School in Dandenong calmed the children and kicked out the back window to get them all to safety.

Despite sustaining a neck injury, Ms Fredericks helped emergency workers get the children off the bus, kept them calm and ensured everyone was accounted for after the bus collided with a car in March.

“There was mild hysteria initially, which she nipped in the bud,” said David Kervin, the paramedic who nominated Ms Fredericks for an Ambulance Victoria Community Hero Award.

Ms Fredericks, from Dandenong North, and 19 other people received the award for showing courage during a medical emergency, at a ceremony at Melbourne’s Parliament House on Friday.

Mr Kervin says there’s not many people who can do what Ms Fredericks did.

“Dawn was straight into gear, she did not think twice, despite injury to herself,” he said.

“Dawn went above and beyond what you would expect of any person.”

Despite her injury Ms Fredericks went back to work the next day to comfort the children, who are doing well now.

“They’re still writing letters to me about helping them and caring. I’ve got all the letters at home,” Ms Fredericks said.

Other recipients included nine-year-old Alayah Carthy from Ferntree Gully, who sat in freezing water, cradling the head of a family friend after he fell head first into shallow water, while her mother went to get help.


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