Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2010/2011 School Crossing Guard of the Year

The following note was read by the Toronto Police Services Board Chair, Dr. Alok Mukherjee to honour the 2010/2011 School Crossing Guard of The Year, Ms Lois Fulton.

Crossing Guard of the Year Award Presentation

"Each year we receive many nominations for the Crossing Guard of the Year Award. It is a very difficult task to choose just one person from all the nominations. All those who were nominated by their divisional co-ordinators should be very proud of their accomplishments.

Tonight we will honour a guard from 31 Division.

At the time of these incidents, Ms. Lois Fulton was employed by 31 division on a part time basis (Spare Guard). She was a guard for 15 years prior to taking some time off for medical reasons. She returned in 2009 on a part time basis, but is now employed on a full time basis working the intersection of Grandravine Dr. and Sentinel Rd.

There are three letters from the public describing the actions of this guard. Two of the letters describe the first situation at Grandravine and Sentinel, one from a witness and one from the victim’s mother. These letters are written by new Canadians who struggle with English, in one case the grandson (grade two, approx. seven years old helped with the letter, the mother of the victims also received help to write her letter). The fact that two people who struggle with the English language took the time to write these letters speaks to their passion with respect to the actions of this guard. The third letter is from the victim and describes the situation at Lawrence and Ralph.

In February Lois was working at the intersection of Grandravine and Sentinel. Two families approached the intersection, the witness with his seven year old grandson and the victim’s mother with her infant in a stroller and her twin four year olds boys.

On this day the twins were not listening to, or obeying their mother. They approached the intersection, the mother pushing the baby in the stroller. The boys ran off into the intersection. A car was approaching the intersection at a high rate of speed, the driver, while talking on a cell phone, did not stop at the stop sign. The childrens mother screamed, the guard ran out into the intersection, dropped her stop sign, scooped the boys up in her arms and ran them across the street. She slipped once but maintained her hold on the boys and then pushed them out of the way. The guard was now directly in the path of the oncoming car. The guard jumped and at the last second the driver saw her and swerved his car narrowly missing her. The mother continued to watch in horror and scream for the safety of her children and the crossing guard. The car continued very quickly through the intersection and no one was able to obtain a licence plate. The witness further advised that he saw this guard save two other children on two other dates, unfortunately no details of these events were given. Both the witness and the boys mother stated that they wanted this guard to remain at this intersection on a full time basis. They further stated that the guard takes the time to talk to the children and teach them how to safely cross the street and the importance of listening to their parents.

In April Lois was working at the intersection of Lawrence Avenue and Ralph St. Ms. (edited), an 80 year old woman who advises she is not in good health was crossing the street with her shopping buggy. Ms. (edited) advised that she is no longer able to care for herself so is moving in to live with her son. This incident occurred on April 14th and she was to move in with her son on April 16th.

As Ms. (edited) was crossing the street she stepped in a crack in the road, her hip gave out and she began to fall in the path of a large cement truck. Ms. (edited) advised that she did not have the ability to get out of the way and thought she was going to die. All of a sudden Lois ran to her and pulled her out of the way just in time. Ms. (edited) grocery buggy was not so lucky. As Ms. Ronston states it was “a small price to pay” for her life. Ms. Ronston states that Lois seems to genuinely care about the people she crosses as they both could have been killed.

All of the citizens in these incidents cannot praise Lois enough for her selfless acts of courage to save the lives of others without thoughts for her own safety.

(left to right) Superintendent Chris White, 31 Division, Lois Fulton, Dr. Alok Mukherjee.
Lois is the epitome of our Service Mission Statement and is truely making our city the best place to be by teaching safety to our youth one child at a time. She is helping with the Sevice Priority of pedestrian safety and displays the core values of reliability and positive attitude."

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