School Bus Aide and Driver Honored for Quick Action to Save Boy’s Life
March 11, 2011
Today, Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) presented Lori Lawton, an Oswego City School District bus aide, and Jack Zeller, a bus driver, with a New York State Assembly Resolution, honoring them for their quick actions which saved D.J. Gibson’s life. On Jan. 13, Lori was on the afternoon bus assignment. Other kids on the bus alerted her that D.J. was choking. She ran back to him. She saw he was turning blue. She grabbed him by his right arm, pulled him up, and put her arms around him and started to do thrusts on his chest. Soon the candy cane he was choking on came out. Zeller radioed for help and pulled the bus over to the side of the road. Within minutes, emergency medical technicians from the Minetto Fire Department were there. “When I heard the news of what happened on that bus, I thought of my own family. It could have been one of my kids on that bus. It could have been anyone’s child. Lori and Jack’s quick work saved a life. I’m pleased to present this Resolution to you today, on behalf of New York State, commending your quick actions, as well as your coordinated effort,” said Barclay. The resolution passed the Assembly unanimously and is a part of the official state record. “The safety and security of our children is of paramount importance. The quick, efficient and professional response of bus aide Lori Lawton and driver Jack Zeller to aid a choking child averted a potential tragedy. I am very proud of both of them. For the entire Oswego City School District I would like to thank them for their life-saving effort,” said School District Superintendent Bill Crist. As a result of their actions, Assemblyman Barclay’s office will nominate Lori Lawton and Jack Zeller for the American Red Cross Real Heroes event. “This is the least we can do for such a tremendous deed. They acted out of pure, selfless instinct and I’m pleased to commend this team today,” said Barclay. Editor’s Note: copy of resolution below K89 Barclay No Same as Resolutions, Legislative TITLE....Commending Lori Lawton and Jack Zeller for their recent heroic action saving the life of seventh grader Dillon D.J. Gibson on January 13, 2011 02/07/11 adopted Assembly Resolution No. 89 BY: M. of A. Barclay COMMENDING Lori Lawton and Jack Zeller for their recent heroic action saving the life of seventh grader Dillon 'D.J.' Gibson on January 13, 2011 WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to recognize and commend the caring concern and heroic acts of individuals who take prompt and appropriate action in emergency situations; and WHEREAS, The immediate response of Oswego City School District Bus Aide Lori Lawton and Bus Driver Jack Zeller exemplify their dedication to and concern for the children of the district who ride the bus every day; and WHEREAS, A normal day was coming to a close as seventh grader Dillon 'D.J.' Gibson and Oswego City School District Bus Aide Lori Lawton boarded the bus at Oswego Middle School for the lengthy trip home; and WHEREAS, Lori Lawton works for the Oswego City School District as a part-time Bus Aide as well as a Line Server at Oswego High School; on January 13, 2011, she had the afternoon bus assignment; and WHEREAS, As she was riding the late run out of the middle school she did a bus check of students twice; as she was heading back toward the front of the bus to check on the other children, she heard a student shout "D.J. is choking!" and looked back to see him slumped in his seat; and WHEREAS, The other students quickly and helpfully moved away to provide Lori Lawton with room; maintaining her composure, she grabbed D.J. by his right arm, pulled him up, put her arms around him and started to do thrusts on his chest and, fortunately, was able to dislodge the piece of candy cane he was eating from his throat; and WHEREAS, While Lori Lawton was attending to D.J., Jack Zeller, the Bus Driver, radioed for assistance and ably served as the communicator between Lori Lawton and the emergency crews as 911 had been immediately contacted; and WHEREAS, Jack Zeller wisely pulled the bus over to the shoulder along Route 48 and within minutes Emergency Medical Technicians from the Minetto Fire Department were on the scene; and WHEREAS, Moments later an Oswego City ambulance arrived and transported D.J. to the Oswego Hospital Emergency Room where the doctors treated D.J., later releasing him and confirming that the quick reaction of Lori Lawton and Jack Zeller had indeed saved D.J.'s life; and WHEREAS, Dillon 'D.J.' Gibson, who says he knew what was going on and was a little scared, is most grateful to Bus Aide Lori Lawton for what she did for him, as is his grandmother, Marcella Gibson, who says we may all rest assured that D.J. will not be eating candy on the bus again; and WHEREAS, Each month the Oswego City School District conducts training on different safety topics with all of the members of its staff; soft-spoken and modest, it is this training that Lori Lawton, downplaying her role in the episode, credits with enabling her to help D.J.; and WHEREAS, Justly recognized as heroes, Lori Lawton and Jack Zeller richly merit the admiration of this Legislative Body and their community for their consummate, swift action in saving the life of a child; and WHEREAS, Lori Lawton and Jack Zeller, in their spontaneous and heroic act, have aptly demonstrated their character and compassion for the welfare of others, personifying, by virtue of their action, the collective concern of the citizens of Oswego and across the community of the State of New York for our children, our most precious resource; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to pay grateful tribute to Oswego City School District Bus Aide Lori Lawton and Bus Driver Jack Zeller for their heroic action saving the life of seventh grader Dillon 'D.J.' Gibson on January 13, 2011, noting the significance of their immediate response to come to the aid of another in a life threatening situation; and be it further RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to Lori Lawton and Jack Zeller.