Sending the kids off to school is something that many of us do every day and we may not give it a second thought. When you look back to the first time you did it, however, you might remember the anxiety that was attached to the event. This isn’t only true of the parents, the kids felt it as well.
The stress was probably compounded if your kids rode a school bus. Even though it is a convenience that many families appreciate, there is also some trust that is built into it as well. Suddenly, your child is in a vehicle with others and a stranger, the bus driver, is in charge.
When it comes to bus drivers, Renita Smith is one of a kind. She has been working as a school bus driver since 2014 and she looks at the kids as being an extension of her family. The single mom of two says, “they’re my babies until I give them back to you.”
Smith is obviously serious about her job but she could not have anticipated the day she became a true hero.
It started off as a normal day and her last round of drop-offs was underway after school. After her third stop, the brake light came on. She thought it was strange but wasn’t overly concerned about it.
When Renita was on her way to the next stop, she didn’t make it very far. Everyone smelled smoke so she stopped the bus and got ready to call for additional transportation. She says, “By the time I picked up the mic to call transportation, my bus was on fire.”
It all happened very quickly. The kids formed a line and Smith made sure they all got off the bus. Even the neighbors came out to ensure the kids were in a safe place. That was a proper response but what Smith did next took her to hero status.
Smith says, “Then I ran back into the bus because I needed to make sure that all of my babies were accounted for.”
It’s hard to imagine but she actually ran back into a burning bus to check that all the kids were out.
Smith was invited to the Ellen DeGenerous show and when Ellen found out she was struggling from one paycheck to the next, she wanted to help. Watch this video to see how she rewarded her heroic actions.