Building Trust and Prioritizing Safety
May 25, 2023
Dispatch and Coach Operators’ proactive approach helped reunite two missing children with their mother.
For a parent, not knowing the whereabouts of a child for any amount of time is devastating. Thinking through the last conversation you had with them, the clothing they were wearing, and where they might be is terribly frightening.
Recently, this was the case for one of our riders and her children.
A mother intercepted an Omnitrans bus after she realized her children did not get off the bus as planned. The driver of that bus was Ramon, Coach Operator for Omnitrans. Ramon stopped and immediately helped the mother. He saw how panicked she was and allowed her to search the bus for her children.
“I called it in and gave the description,” said Ramon. Dispatch sent a message to all Coach Operators notifying them of the two missing children and to begin to check their buses.
Shantray, Dispatcher for Omnitrans, sent out an emergency notification. “[Typically] a message will go out and we standby for feedback. Hopefully, an Operator will have had contact [with the missing person] and can give some information.”
Fortunately, that is exactly what took place. Renika, Coach Operator for Omnitrans received the message from Dispatch and was able to provide critical information.
By the time Renika received the message from Dispatch, the two children that matched the description had already left her bus. Renika shared where the children exited the bus, and Dispatch sent out another alert.
When Shaneta, Coach Operator for Omnitrans, heard the call come through Dispatch regarding two missing children she was on high alert.
As a mother herself, she particularly watches out for children entering her bus.
Once Shaneta arrived at her next stop, two minors entered her bus.
“The description was similar [to Dispatch’s description] but not the same,” shared Shaneta. “I just kept looking at them and thinking, maybe this is them.”
Shaneta trusted her instinct, approached the children, and asked them if they were OK. “Ask if a person is in danger. Read their body language, their eyes–pay close attention to anything that may indicate they are in trouble.”
After gathering more information, and verifying the children were ok, Shaneta confirmed they were indeed the pair who were missing and alerted Dispatch.
When a minor is missing, Dispatch will always alert a Field Supervisor and Security to ensure a safe and secure reunification.
Thankfully, the children were safely reunited with their mother.
“This was truly a happy ending,” said Les Belton, Director of Operations. “Because of the perseverance and commitment to safety from our Coach Operators and Dispatchers, this family was reunited.”
There is a joint effort within the Omnitrans team when these situations occur.We are grateful to Ramon, Shantray, Renika, and Shaneta for their dedication to safety. Our top priority here at Omnitrans is safety, and it comes first in everything we do.
To report a lost or missing person that may have been aboard our bus, please first call 9-1-1.