Cincinnati Metro

Cincinnati Metro Bus Operator Honored for Rescuing Resident During Fire

The heroic actions of Metro bus operator Clay Chinn might have saved residents of an apartment building in East Price Hill that caught fire on July 31.

Chinn, an Elizabethtown, Ohio, resident, was driving Metro’s Rt. 32 on W. 8th Street when he saw smoke coming from an apartment building. He stopped his bus and, with the help of another Good Samaritan on the scene, went door to door in the building to see if anyone needed help to escape the fire.

He was able to help a woman on the second floor of the building evacuate as her apartment was filling with smoke. He continued to look for and alert residents until the police and fire department arrived.

A Metro operator since March 2004, Chinn modestly described his actions that day as automatic. “We have this ability – we see someone in danger and we act. I didn’t think. I just did it. I can’t usually move that fast, but I didn’t feel a thing,” he said. He was later treated for smoke inhalation.

This wasn’t the first time he has helped others while driving the bus. Several years ago, he helped get a woman and her children out of a burning car.

Mayor John Cranley will present a Mayoral letter of appreciation to thank Chinn for his actions at the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) Board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 9 a.m., 602 Main St., downtown, 12th floor.

SORTA will also present him with Metro’s STAR Award, which stands for “Service That Attracts Recognition.” This award acknowledges and rewards employees who demonstrate exemplary service to Metro and the community.