Each year, the California Association for Coordinated Transportation (CalACT) recognizes transit professionals who contribute significantly to the achievement of CalACT’s goals and objectives. This year, three First Transit employees from the Pasadena Rapid Transit System in Pasadena, Calif., have been nominated for and selected to receive the Q’Straint/Sure-Lok Above and Beyond Award. The award is presented to a driver or dispatcher who has gone above and beyond the regular job duties to provide service to the special needs population.
While none of the First Transit employees are primarily drivers or dispatchers, their driving and dispatching experience came into play during a recent storm that struck the area. Strong winds and rain made it extremely difficult for many residents and other companies to operate in the city. These employees successfully made it into work that day to safely evacuate 40 senior citizens from a housing complex and transport them to a safe location. Lead Technician Israel Granillo and Road Supervisor Andy Mendoza both drove transit vehicles to these citizens to assist in the evacuation. First Transit’s Quality Control Coordinator Matt Kafkaloff took over as dispatcher during the storm to assist the drivers.
District Manager Tim McGowan is grateful for the leadership and determination his employees showed during this severe weather event.
“Our location is very grateful to have employees of this caliber working with us on a daily basis,” McGowan said. “Each of these employees has exhibited a true commitment and dedication to the company and the passengers who rely heavily on our services. I congratulate them all for their nomination and selection for the award, and hold them up as great representations of what First Transit employees resemble.”
CalACT is the largest state transit association in the United States, with nearly 300 members dedicated to promoting professional excellence, stimulating ideas and advocating for effective community transportation. These employees will be recognized in Newport Beach, Calif., at the organization’s conference and expo on Wednesday, April 25.