Red Deer resident Kurt Stenberg recently received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Award for Bravery for his actions on June 7th when he prevented a potential tragic accident involving a school bus with 18 children on board.
As first reported by the Red Deer Express, Stenberg managed to pull his truck in front of the school bus that had previously struck a tree and street sign. Stenberg then convinced the driver of the bus to open the doors. He then proceeded to personally turn the bus off, put on the brakes and put it in park. He then managed the scene until emergency services arrived.
The driver of the bus, Shelly Kolodychuk of Red Deer, was recently sentenced to 45 days in prison, 12 months of probation and received a 12 month driving prohibition for operating a motor vehicle over 80mg.
Stenberg said he was happy to accept the award, despite the difficult circumstances involved.
“Initially, I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal,” he said. “I was happy and honoured that somebody out there had nominated me for it.”
Stenberg said the best part of receiving the award was hearing the story of the other recipients.
“My story was like a lot of other stories there, not over anything real positive. It was always over somebody being injured or needing help. I guess that is the way that is.”
Stenberg said he doesn’t feel very heroic in that situation and said that may be because of his work as a firefighter/EMT in Red Deer.
“I definitely don’t feel like that,” he said. “If I was in a non-emergency related job, maybe it would feel a little heroic, but for me it felt normal. I knew a lot of the people on the scene. I couldn’t accuse her or think negatively of her at the time, I just had to try to get her some help.”
Stenberg hopes his actions can encourage others to respond similarly.
“It is nice to be acknowledged for it and hopefully people see that. If something like that ever happens to them, hopefully they act on it. Hopefully I can set an example,” he said.
Stenberg said the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Lois Mitchell was eager to speak with him and his family.
“It was a really nice experience. Once I was there, it was well put on and they took really good care of us. They really made you feel special,” he said.