Teen awarded medal for saving busload of students
Parrsboro Mayor Lois Smith presents Brady Dunham with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on Jan. 10, 2013.
Published Thursday, January 10, 2013 6:52PM AST
A Nova Scotia high school student was honoured today for his heroic actions after he took control of a runaway school bus last month.
Twenty-nine students walked quietly into the gymnasium and onto the stage at Parrsboro Regional High School Thursday morning.
The students were on board the bus in December when the driver suffered a medical emergency and lost consciousness.
The bus then crossed the centre line, struck a guardrail and was headed for a local restaurant when 16-year-old Brady Dunham raced to the front of the vehicle and took control of the wheel.
“I don’t really know. I just went to the front of the bus and that was going on,” he says.
Today’s ceremony honoured Dunham’s quick thinking and the other students on board the bus.
A plaque was presented to the smaller students for following orders and keeping their cool during a scary situation, while the older students received a plaque for taking control and looking after the young children.
But everyone agrees the true hero that day was Dunham.
Today, school officials and community members took turns honouring him for his courage and heroic actions.
“Of course, that is an exemplary response, and we’re just so very proud of Brady for his response in that situation,” says Gary Clarke, superintendent of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.
“From the back of the bus to the front, never having had a driver’s licence, I mean, we’d like to make him an honourary fireman and hopefully he’ll join our fire department when he turns 18,” says Parrsboro Fire Chief Randy Mosher.
Mayor Lois Smith presented Dunham with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
“When this happened, my council and I sat down and thought, what can we do for the young man? And very quietly I thought, what do I have to lose by nominating him?” says Smith.
The community of Parrsboro has also raised enough money to pay for Dunham’s driver’s licence, once he passes the test.
Dunham admits it feels somewhat awkward to be treated like a hero in his town.
“It’s something that had to be done I guess.”
Sadly, the female bus driver passed away a week after the accident, but her sister attended today’s ceremony to thank Dunham.
The student says he is now looking forward to getting his driver’s licence.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh