Frear fifth-grader’s heroic efforts helped save bus driver

DOVER — Kaidin Burton is a hero at just 11 years old.

The fifth-grader possibly saved his bus driver’s life last winter during a medical emergency; at the very least he lessened her distress.

A routine transport home on Feb. 8 was interrupted by a jolting stop — the driver slammed on the brakes and managed to park,

Forty Allen Frear Elementary School students worried earlier when the driver expressed she wasn’t feeling well and might pass out.

Their fears were soon confirmed. Barely coherent, the driver indicated extreme dizziness but said little else.

Kaidin wasn’t flustered and quickly dialed 911, then contacted his mother, Barbara, on Face Time. He followed her directions and called Delaware State Police next.

Help quickly arrived.

According to Kaidin, “I was feeling like I had to keep the kids calm and told the driver to keep sitting so she wouldn’t get more dizzy.”

After a pull on the back door exit handle, Kaidin and younger brother Maurice led students off the bus in the Eagle Meadows neighborhood.

Maurice instructed students to run to find help while Kaidin “got water and a cloth to put on (the driver’s head) because she was hot and maybe feverish.

“I didn’t do it because I didn’t want to maybe put germs onto her head.”

The incident stretched 15 minutes or less, but Kaidin’s response had an everlasting impact.

The driver was taken to the hospital via ambulance, recovered but hasn’t yet returned behind the wheel.

The kids later sent her a get-well card.

Kaidin said he followed safety rules learned at home and at school.

“It was great and I told him he showed great leadership,” said Barbara, a nurse. “He had two siblings on the bus and it was great for them to see that you can take a leadership role in a chaotic situation.”

As for Kaidin, “He was very excited about what he had done and very proud,” according to his mother.

A Spirit of Caesar Rodney Student Award followed at the district’s next board of education meeting. The City of Dover mayor’s office contacted Frear as well and more official accolades are coming.

Additionally, Kaidin earned great respect from Frear students and staff.

“Yeah, kids have been congratulating me a bit,” he said.

The save exemplified the “Show your Frear” motto that students live by, Principal Julie Lavender said. The goals are to be respectful, focus on safety, show enthusiasm, accept others and be responsible.

“We are so very proud of Kaidin,” Ms. Lavender said. “He’s definitely a leader in this building and is going places I’m sure.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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