An Orillia Transit driver recently went above and beyond his job description by saving a passenger’s life during an overdose.
Last Friday, Chris Stubbs was waiting to start his next run downtown when he heard another driver call dispatch over the radio to request an ambulance for an unresponsive passenger.
“It’s kind of typical where, on the transit, the subway or the bus, people fall asleep, so the driver had went up to them and (said), ‘Hey, wake up. Hello. Are you there?’ and with no avail,” Stubbs told OrilliaMatters.
He walked over to the bus to investigate, recognized the passenger, and also tried to wake her up. When that didn’t work, he performed a sternum rub with his knuckles — which can test for unconsciousness — and temporarily revived her.
“She was clearly confused and just wanted to get out of there, so she started picking up her bags and gathering her things to walk off the bus, kind of stumbling around, and at that point, I said, ‘OK, well, I’ll just kind of let this go,’” he said.
The passenger had been looking to transfer to another bus, and Stubbs soon noticed her in an unresponsive state on a nearby bench.
“When she sat down on the bench, she just fell back asleep immediately. Her shoulders dropped, and just like kind of gargling started happening,” he said.
Stubbs had a Narcan kit in his bag, so he walked across the street and administered it to the woman before going back to his bus. He said he didn’t linger for long because it’s common for people being revived from an overdose to be aggressive.
“I've seen it before. These people get upset and angry and they attack you, too, and I just walked away and started my next run,” he said.
However, he later saw the woman waiting for a bus near RBC in west Orillia.
“She was telling everybody at that stop, ‘Oh, someone just saved my life. I don't know what happened,’” he said.
Although Stubbs found the situation upsetting and difficult, he noted Narcan — or naloxone — kits are readily available to anyone who would like to have one.
“The government provides everybody with them,” he said. “You can go into Walmart, you can go into Shoppers Drug Mart — anywhere and everywhere in the city.”