TriMet releases footage of harrowing bus rescue on New Year’s Eve

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — TriMet has released footage related to a harrowing rescue of a rider who had a medical emergency and was transported to the hospital by bus on New Year’s Eve.

A TriMet bus operator, assisted by Portland Fire and Rescue, transported the individual after no ambulances were available.

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TriMet released video from three cameras on the bus that showed views of firefighters responding to the incident as well as fire trucks in front that shepherded the bus to the hospital.

  • TriMet released footage from a harrowing bus rescue on New Year's Eve last year. January 24, 2024 (courtesy TriMet).
    TriMet released footage from a harrowing bus rescue on New Year’s Eve last year. January 24, 2024 (courtesy TriMet).
  • TriMet released footage from a harrowing bus rescue on New Year's Eve last year. January 24, 2024 (courtesy TriMet).
    TriMet released footage from a harrowing bus rescue on New Year’s Eve last year. January 24, 2024 (courtesy TriMet).
  • TriMet released footage from a harrowing bus rescue on New Year's Eve last year. January 24, 2024 (courtesy TriMet).
    TriMet released footage from a harrowing bus rescue on New Year’s Eve last year. January 24, 2024 (courtesy TriMet).

However, the transportation agency did not release video from inside the bus that would have shown the individual in a medical crisis “due to personal privacy concerns.”

According to Roberta Alstadt, a TriMet spokesperson, the transportation employees involved in the incident were honored on Wednesday morning by the company’s board of directors. Bus Operator Joe Wiggins, Supervisor Hassan Hassan, and Assistant Manager Chia Claro were all “applauded by the Board,” Alstadt said in an email. Dispatcher Zoey Owens was also recognized for coordinating the transport. A video of the board meeting where the transportation employees were recognized can be viewed on YouTube.

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Earlier this month, KOIN 6 News broke the story about the bus rescue amid an ambulance shortage, a topic KOIN 6 has continually covered in a series of investigative reports.

The incident all unfolded in the early hours of Dec. 31 in the Lents Neighborhood. Firefighters responded around 2:30 a.m. to a bus near SE 94th Ave. and Foster Rd on reports of a 43-year-old man who was experiencing chest pains. PF&R arrived when no ambulances were available. Once there, they waited 20 minutes for one to show up. However, none came, so that is when they decided to simply transport the man to the hospital using the bus itself.

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