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Edmonton bus driver applauded for helping homeless man in freezing cold

Edmonton bus driver praised for helping homeless man in freezing cold
WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton bus driver is being called a hero after saving a homeless man from the cold. Albert Delitala has the details.

With Alberta’s capital mired in a deep freeze bringing dangerously cold temperatures with it, an Edmonton bus driver is being applauded for helping a homeless man in need get out of the icy elements.

Derek Bailey, a bus driver with the Edmonton Transit Service, told Global News he came upon a man who appeared to be in trouble while driving his regular route Sunday morning.

Bailey said he had left on his route that begins in north Edmonton’s Castle Downs neighbourhood when he saw a man who looked very pale slumped over in a bus shelter. He said the man had icicles hanging from his beard and encouraged him to get on the bus.

“The weather outside was about -30 C (or) -32 C… It was extremely cold that morning,” Bailey said. “Essentially he was frozen.”

READ MORE: Oh Cold Snap! Edmonton set to break its 21-year-old weather record

He approached the man on the bus, believing he was in a moderate to severe stage of hypothermia and was able to convince the man to let him call an ambulance for him. Being a former emergency medical responder, Bailey said he tried to help boost the man’s circulation by rubbing his hands.

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“We see a whole different side of the city that often a lot of people don’t get to see. We see every walk of life on a bus… The homeless person that is just trying to survive on the street.

READ MORE: Councillor wants Edmonton LRT stations open 24 hours during extreme cold

The ETS issued a statement on Monday in which it praised the driver’s actions.

“Derek’s actions are a great example of our ETS operators going above and beyond to help people in Edmonton,” the ETS said. “Derek took it upon himself to act quickly, and saved this man’s life.

“We’re so proud of Derek’s quick actions, and ETS inspector Ross Cruthers who helped Derek by quickly arranging medical assistance. Derek and Ross both did a tremendous job and we’re very proud of their exemplary work.”