Mechanic’s Quick Action Saves the Day!

Mechanic’s quick action after seeing smoke on a moving bus saves the day

GoTriangle Electronic Technician Abraham Gebremariam had just started his shift on Saturday, Jan. 27, when he heard over a Dispatch monitor in his office that a bus that an operator was driving the bus back to the Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility. The operator told the dispatcher that something wasn’t working as it should, who told him to head back to base.

Gebremariam (pictured) had gone outside to observe the bus returning, but as the operator drove toward a parking spot in the bus lot, he saw smoke coming from the back rear tire. Alarmed, Gebremariam quickly approached the moving bus and told the operator to stop, shut off the power, and exit immediately. Then, he went on the bus and activated the circuit breaker. As he went back outside to inspect the cause of the smoke, he noticed a spark from inside the hatch of the rear tire. He went to the garage to ask for a fire extinguisher and used it to extinguish the spark. After ensuring all danger of fire was passed, he reported the situation to his manager, Darrick Harris.
“Abraham saw [the smoke] and sprung into action,” Harris says. “I appreciate Abraham being aware, not just seeing something, but doing something about it; [his] having the presence of mind to go and check it out, inspect the bus. Had he not, who knows what would have transpired from there.”

Gebremariam says he likes to hear first-hand from the operator what happens when a bus has mechanical issues, so he always shows up in person to talk directly with the operator. When he saw the smoke, he knew he had to isolate the bus to prevent the fire from spreading.

Once a GoTriangle bus operator himself, Gebremariam now works on all electronic systems for the bus, ensuring that destination signs, spoken announcements on the bus, the GPS positioning system, and fare boxes are working. He says he is passionate about ensuring systems are working because he knows what it’s like to be behind the wheel when things are not working.

“For me, I take it personally,” he says. “I’ve been there.”