A heroic Milwaukee bus driver saved a baby wandering alone in the cold.
While Irena Ivic was driving her usual route on December 22, 2018, she saw something shocking on a highway overpass. A baby was walking along a busy street without adult supervision. He had no shoes or coat even though it was very cold outside.
He immediately went into action to rescue the poor boy. Irena was driving in the opposite direction, so she parked the bus and crossed the street to help him. In the video, you can see her running in front of moving traffic to save the baby.
When Irena came to him, he was crying, obviously lost and scared. She picked him up and carried him to the warm bus. The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus driver I was in shock. How could a parent allow their baby to roam alone in freezing temperatures?
Not to mention, the boy was walking down a busy street without clothing suitable for the weather. She was wearing a red romper and diaper, inappropriate for the weather. When Irena got on the bus with the boy, she said:
“Oh my God. Oh my God. No, I’m shaking.”
The passengers couldn’t believe it either. While they waited for help to arrive, a passenger offered her winter coat to wrap the boy. Irena spoke sweetly to the boy, stroking his hair to keep him calm. Everyone on board the bus helped keep the baby warm and comfortable until first responders arrived.
They did not have to wait long; Firefighters and police officers quickly arrived at the scene. When they walked to the bus, they saw that the baby was already asleep in Irena’s arms. Clearly, he was exhausted from walking the busy roads and trying to keep his body warm.
Then the baby was reunited with his father.
Later, authorities learned that the boy was less than a year old. In fact, he was only 19 months old at the time. Although he was exposed to freezing temperatures, he was not injured. The baby disappeared after the mother had a mental health crisis, according to authorities. She had left him outside, and the boy must have gotten confused, leading him to wander the streets.
They tracked the dad and brought the baby to him.
“I am grateful that I was in the right place at the right time,” Ivic said at a ceremony honoring her for her heroic actions.
Ivic said that she used to be a teacher and has children of her own, so she adores children. He was happy to reunite the sweet baby with his father. Irena is definitely a hero, and this is a perfect example of humanity at its best.
According to the MCTS, this was the 10th time bus drivers found a missing or missing child in recent years.
Other times, Milwaukee bus drivers rescued children in the area.
- Jenny Mitchell was driving her route in the far north of Milwaukee when she saw two little boys alone. He decided to stop and ask if they needed help. The children, ages one and five, looked lost and scared. Right away, Jenny sensed something was wrong. He asked where they were trying to go and they pointed in all directions. They said they had left their home where a babysitter had been taking care of them. Now they were trying to get to their aunt’s house. So Jenny called the police to help them get to their destination.
- (MCTS) Driver Cecilia Nation-Gardner noticed a child wandering through traffic after running away from school. She had just parked at a bus stop on May 15, 2019, when the boy started crossing the street in front of cars. Cecilia began to frantically honk her horn to alert drivers, but most did not stop. So, he got off the bus to chase the boy. He took the six-year-old boy’s hand and led him to the bus to wait for the police. Later, officers learned that the boy had a disability and walked away from the school. They later reunited him with members of his family. The miracle of history was that Cecilia did not normally travel this area on her route. She had been in the right place at the right time.
- On another occasion, Milwaukee bus drivers saved two lost children In the same day! Cecilia came once more to the rescue of one of the children. In the morning hours of July 5, 2019, he noticed that a girl was walking alone on Route 15. The girl was crying, carrying a blanket and wearing pajamas and slippers. The girl told Cecilia that she was looking for her mother, who lived in another state. However, the girl’s relatives were looking for her. They soon reached the bus and took the girl home.
- That same day, MCTS bus driver Cressida Neal drove for an early shift at 4:40 a.m. Suddenly, he saw a baby wandering alone near an intersection. The boy was barefoot, scared and crying. Cressida told him to get on the bus, where she gave him water and comforted him until the police arrived. Apparently the boy had spent the night with his grandmother. He walked away in the early hours of the morning and got lost. Fortunately, the police took the baby away with his family.
Not all heroes wear a cape. Most of the time, they are ordinary people like you and me. MCTS bus drivers have a track record of excellence that goes far beyond the requirements of their job. Many of them had saved children from danger, like when Irena Ivic rescued a baby who was wandering the streets. Unfortunately, parents face mental health problems and leave their children unattended. But luckily, the guardian angels are looking out for them.
It seems that in Milwaukee, at least, the bus drivers are always ready to help children in need. It’s stories like these that restore your faith in humanity and remind you that heroes walk among us.