On the morning of January 13, 2017, during her “home to school” route, First Student driver Jen Malinoski from Location #11785 in Moretown, Vermont noticed smoke coming out of a house’s chimney as she passed it on her way to pick up her next student.
A dirty chimney can cause a chimney fire, which can lead to damage to the home’s structure, destroy the home or injure and kill people.
Jen, following our company’s motto “If you see something, say something”, radioed her Location about the chimney fire and the location of the house.
Location Manager Danny Bellavance then called the Waterbury Fire Department in Waterbury, Vt. and a firetruck was immediately dispatched to the scene.
When the firetruck arrived to the home, flames were seen coming out the top of the chimney.
“Had it not been for this observant bus driver, who knows how bad the fire would have gotten,” said Waterbury Fire Chief Gary Dillion. “There is no doubt that this could have turned into an outright whole-house fire if we had not received the call.”
Location Manager Daniel Bellavance said, “I’m not surprised by Jen’s observation and concern for the home owner who may have been at risk. Her quick decision to make the call fits her personality. She is always very detailed. Last October, she was recognized as Driver of the Month for her safe driving skills.”
Area General Manager David Fairweather describing Jen's actions, “[She] truly lives[s] our route safety training component: “See something, say something.”