China / Society

Bus driver hails lifesaving passengers

By Xie Chuanjiao in Qingdao ( Updated: 2012-11-28 19:57

East China's Qingdao city has renewed its passion for the red ribbon, a symbol of good will among transportation workers, as heroic bus driver Yu Huihai attempts to track down the passengers that saved his life after he became ill when driving a bus.

Yu Huihai, a 49-year-old bus driver, suffered vertigo and blacked out when he was driving a bus passing an elementary school on the morning of Nov 13.

Despite his pain, Yu managed to slow the bus and pull up the handbrake. He slapped his head twice, trying to pull himself together, but failed and collapsed on the wheel.

Surveillance video has shown how over 30 passengers, who were saved by Yu's quick thinking, took him off the bus and lined up to form a wall protecting him from the wind. Several passengers started to apply first aid to the driver and waited for the ambulance to arrive.

"I remember there were four people playing vital roles in helping me, I could have died without them," Yu said, trying to recall the scene. "I want to find and thank them. And in the future I am going to provide an even better service to repay my passengers."

The story was reported by State media and soon caused a sensation in Qingdao. Local media outlets and netizens started to help Yu look for his saviors after he recovered from hospital. They were described as "Qingdao's most beautiful driver and passengers".

Thanks to the video, a woman in a red coat who knelt down and massaged Yu was found on Nov 15. Her name is Chu Fenglan, a 50-year-old resident living close to the school where the incident happened.

"My husband is a Chinese Traditional Medicine doctor, so I know a thing or two about first-aid. There was also a young man who rushed to a nearby drug store to buy some pills and put them in his mouth," Chu said.

That young man was found on Nov 27, when the bus company received a phone call: "I am from Qingdao Buwai Hospital, and the man you are looking for is my colleague Yuan Deqi".

Yu, together with the media, went to thank the doctor. Yuan Deqi said to the driver: "Most people will only think about his own life when their health and life is in danger, but your first reaction was the safety of us. This is very noble".

Yu received his physical examination results at the beginning of November and they showed him to be in good health, making it all the more surprising for him when he fell ill.

"It was like a shock when I was struck. Driving safely is my obligation and I was so lucky to be saved by my passengers and I have only stayed in the hospital for a few days," Yu said.

Qingdao Party Secretary Li Qun said the incident is a reflection of "the spirit of red ribbon", a phenomenon that first appeared in 2006 among taxi drivers and then spread to every corner of Qingdao to help harmony on the road.

"This goodwill reflects the city's awakening humanism and it is part of the progress of our socialist spiritual civilization," Li said.

In 2006, three taxi drivers used their working hours to find the owners of goods or cash worth of millions of yuan that had been left in their cars. Local citizens sent red ribbons to them to show their appreciation. Several months later, drivers started to tie red ribbons on their rear view mirrors to indicate that they are ready to help.

According to Qingdao Bureau of Transportation statistics, from January to December, over 500 noble deeds were reported by various media organizations in 2011.

Red ribbons have now become a symbol of good will in Qingdao, and represent the city's generous nature.

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