Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Tina RogersTina Rogers, a fleet manager of four years, is a hero who helped save a driver’s life.

It was mid-July when Rogers, who works for BESL Transportation in Washington, Pennsylvania, took a call from a driver around 1 p.m.

“I think I’m having a heart attack,” he said.

Tina quickly called upon her training and experience to call 911, remain calm and help the driver. It wasn’t easy, though.

“It was scary and a very tough situation. I was trying not to cry,” Tina said.

Fortunately, the driver had recognized his symptoms and managed to pull over and engage the brake on his truck before calling Tina. She said his actions saved others on the road from possible injury.

They remained on the phone together while they waited for first responders, and Tina kept him alert and talking. When the EMTs arrived, Tina could hear what was happening through the driver’s active headset.

In addition, Tina spoke with one of the EMTs through the headset about the driver’s condition and which hospital he was going to for immediate surgery. She was then able to pass that information to the driver’s wife and family.

The driver had suffered what is called a “widow maker,” meaning a complete or nearly complete blockage of the left main artery to the heart. It is one of the deadliest types of heart attack.

“If he had been a mile and a half further north, he would have not made it back,” Tina said.

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. The driver is now in stable condition and on the road to recovery. His doctors have said he cannot return to trucking, however.

This was a critical moment, not just for the driver and Tina, but also for the BESL team. Everyone pulled together to manage the situation, from answering phones to retrieving the driver’s truck to making sure his load was delivered. And everyone was asking what else they could do to help.

Above all, they reached out to the driver to express their concern and well wishes.

When asked what wisdom Tina would share after this experience, she said: “First thing is to not be afraid to get checked out by a doctor. It is better to get checked and be healthy than have a fatality on the road that could affect your family and others.”

She also reminds people that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to and to never underestimate your abilities — like helping save a life.