Caring Sobers

Alvin Sobers says service is nothing new to him.
Alvin Sobers says service is nothing new to him.

Some have called his actions heroic; others have referred to them as marvellous.

But Alvin Sobers told Barbados TODAY: “I was just being me.”

This had to do with an incident in which Sobers, a driver at the Barbados Transport Board, went beyond his job description last week to save a distressed passenger. At the time, he was working the City Circle route, when driving along Belleville in St Michael, he noticed a commotion a few seats behind him.

Other passengers, he recalled, were surrounding an old lady who was seemingly unresponsive. A passenger began tapping her forehead with Alcolado, all in an effort to revive her, but it was proving unsuccessful. So he whipped up his cellphone and called the Ambulance Service for assistance.

“. . . And they tell me they don’t have any ambulances. So I tell a lady, call the hospital and let them know that the City Centre bus coming there right now, and that I got a lady on here, and she ain’t responding, and I ain’t want she dead in this bus. I then called operations, because I like to be on the safe side, and I talk to the supervisor and I tell he what happen, and that I driving the lady straight to the hospital yard,” he recounted.

So with hazards lights on, and the bus filled with passengers, the chauffeur of 14 years drove straight to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

At the Accident & Emergency Department he was met by a police officer, who along with other medical officials, continued to assist the old woman who was at this time regaining consciousness.

The father of three said that since that day he was being met by strangers, friends and colleagues, all highlighting and congratulating his efforts. But he could not comprehend why.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY at the Transport Board depot at Weymouth in The City, he maintained that such deeds came natural to him.

“I didn’t looking for nothing so. If you see the amount of likes and comments on that same article, I can’t believe it,” he said referring to a post onFacebook by a passenger on the bus, that began making the rounds.

“I ain’t the kind of person that like all the fuss and the fame. I does do things because that is me. That is in me! And I does get curse regular. People always saying, ‘You does do for people and you don’t do for yourself’. But that is me,” the proud past student of Parkinson Memorial School said.

“That is something in me. Even when I home, anybody tek sick and they ain’t got no ambulances, I put them in my van and rush them to the hospital, because I feel in life if everybody had to live like me, you won’t got no problems in this world. None!” he added.

Service is nothing new to Sobers. He is the holder of a 2010 Barbados Service Medal. Though he has a stretched ligament in his left foot, he spent many years volunteering his time to assist disabled people as a driver for the Call–A–Ride bus. Furthermore, some of his volunteer efforts were previously captured in the National Initiative For Service Excellence magazine.

The 40–year–old is trained in first aid, teaches line dancing at his alma mater on evenings, is on the verge of becoming a member of the District Emergency Organization for St George and is desirous of joining the citizens band radio group.

“Going beyond the call of duty –– that is me, because I know I got my children, and my children might be on the road and something happen to them. Somebody might say, ‘Wait I know that little man, I know that little girl that is so and so’, and they call me.

“Some people children you does try to talk to them and them ain’t want to hear, but although I got to go complain to you for your child and you curse me and get on bad, if I see he gine in a direction he ain’t supposed to be going to get hurt, I would still stop he, ’cause that is me,” he said.

“I don’t let nothing bother me. I ain’t no saint; I like anybody else. I know I can do things, once I put my mind to it. Some of the people here tell me, ‘Yuh is a movie star, yuh is a celebrity’, but I feel the same way now as I always feel. I got a gentleman in the operations department that when Transport Board was giving out awards and thing he used to tell me, ‘Sobers, you does do so much work and you ain’t getting no awards, but you don’t worry, you gine get an award one of these days that is bigger than Transport Board.

“And when they call me in 2010 and tell me that I get the award for the Barbados Service Medal, the first body I call was he and tell he. The first body to get an invitation from me was he.

“What for a man he does get; so I don’t need to get notice for whatever I do. I do it ’cause it is the right thing to do. So if something like this was to ever happen again I won’t hesitate at all. This is me and seeing that this is Parkinson [Memorial School’s 53rd anniversary] week, I feel even better that this is who I am,” Sobers added, while noting he was headed to the school in The Pine, St Michael, to collect his tie, wristband and polo shirt for the school’s Fun Walk on Sunday.

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