BELDING— When Alex Hirschy heard the sound of a fellow student hit the floor of their school bus, he didn’t wait for someone else to react.
Hirschy, 11, a fifth-grader at Woodview Elementary School, leapt from his seat on the bus to comfort the student several seats behind him who was suffering from a seizure as they traveled to school the morning of April 16.
Hirschy said his father is prone to seizures, so when he saw a classmate suffering the same symptoms, he knew what to do.
“I saw my buddy falling on the floor, he was just crying a lot and hitting the seats,” he said. “My bus driver and I got him back up in his seat.”
Hirschy said he placed the student on his side and helped comfort him and relax him from the seizure as bus driver Larry Bush contacted the bus garage to reach emergency personnel.
Hirschy continued to comfort the student until paramedics arrived on scene.
“It was just quick thinking,” he said. “The whole time I was just thinking, I hope he’s going to be OK.”
Hirschy received a certificate of appreciation during Monday evening’s Belding Area Schools Board of Education meeting from Ellis Elementary School Principal Tiffany Jackson, recognizing him for “phenomenal reaction and helpfulness to a student in need.”
“It came to my attention when I got to the scene last week that there was somebody very special on one of our buses,” Jackson said. “Once the bus driver pulled over, this student was assisting him right away. His first words were ‘I know exactly what do to.’”
Jackson said Hirschy’s efforts went a long way to make sure panic didn’t spread amongst the students on the bus.
“You made one of our students very comfortable that day,” she said. “You were able to relax not just him, but the entire bus, with your quick thinking and calm manor.”
Jackson said she was especially proud when the paramedics on scene complimented Hirshy’s efforts to keep the situation under control until they arrived.
School board President Tom Humphreys thanked Hirschy for his efforts.
“That’s fantastic,” he said. “Thank you for taking the action that you did. It sounds like you’ve got a cool head about you in the face of chaos. Well done, young man.”
Woodview Elementary School Principal Bruce Cook said he wasn’t surprised when he heard which of his students had acted proactively when the situation occurred.
“We are very proud of the way he reacted and jumped into action to help the young man,” he said. “He’s a good kid and has a big heart.”
Hirschy’s parents, Tom and Kimberly Hirschy, were present to see their son recognized.
“It makes me feel extremely comfortable seeing him react this way,” Tom Hirschy said. “Some people just have a knack for dealing with situations like that, and with me having seizures, it’s comforting to know he will be able to help me in the future.”
“He’s just one who cares for others,” Kimberly Hirschy said. “We’re very proud.”