The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) commended a bus driver for preventing a man from jumping off a bridge to commit suicide. The driver is being recognized for “exemplary compassion and selflessness” for intervening and saving the man’s life.
“To say she went above and beyond is an understatement,” RIPTA’s chief executive officer, Scott Avedisian, said in a press statement.
Operator Eldorada “Ellie” Giblin was driving the Route 33 bus on the Providence-East Providence line last month when she spotted a man who appeared to be contemplating leaping from the Henderson Bridge.
She immediately stopped her bus and got out.
“People just had their phones out and were taking pictures or video—It broke my heart,” she told the transit authority. “I told my passengers not to worry and that I would be right back.”
When she approached the man, she asked him to come to her; then he cried, “No one cares!”
However, Ellie reassured him that she did care, and as proof, she invited him to join her on her next break from work.
Before long, the man pulled away from the railing and even said he wanted to go home. Ellie realized he intended to drive away from the scene and made him promise he wouldn’t harm himself.
“I made him pinky swear,” she said.
When she returned to her bus, the passengers burst into applause.
Ellie told the transit authority that she didn’t think she had done anything that remarkable, but on April 3, RIPTA publicly recognized her for her actions.
In the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death, according to Centerstone health and wellness center.
The belief that “no one cares” is one of the most common perceptions that leads to suicidal thoughts.
“Ellie is a reminder that there are many good people in the world,” Avedisian said, “and that acts of kindness can make a huge difference. We are so proud that she is a RIPTA employee.”
If you or anyone you know struggles with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline immediately: 800-273-8255, or text “HOME” to 741741.