Dial-a-Ride's star performers recognised at annual awards

01 July 2013

Among the award recipients was a Dial-a-Ride driver who saved a passenger's life by performing CPR until an ambulance arrived, and an employee whose work on a 'wheelchair passport' system has helped contribute to the development of a British Standard for securing wheelchairs safely in vehicles.

Awards for the Dial-a-Ride scheme - which is a multi-passenger, door to door free service provided by TfL for disabled people who cannot use public transport - were given out on Friday 28 June.

Over 1,350,000 trips were delivered in 2012/13 for Dial-a-Ride's 47,000 members, with an overall customer satisfaction rate of 92 out of 100.  

Mike Weston, Operations Director for Surface Transport , said: 'We appreciate how much of a lifeline Dial-a-Ride is for our members who often have specific needs which our staff will always try to accommodate.

'These awards are an opportunity to recognise those star employees who take pride in all aspects of their work and excel in putting the customer at the centre of everything they do.' 
Mike Weston presented Dial-a-Ride awards to:

Alec Dempster based at Dial-a-Ride Mandela Way, Southwark
Driver Attendant of the year
Alec never hesitates to assist in any situation and always has a professional and polite manner. He has on many occasions stayed back after work and has also helped stranded passengers.

Gillian Glenham based at Dial-a-Ride Mandela Way, Southwark
Reservationist of the Year
Gillian will often go the extra mile to assist a customer with a special request, displaying the perfect interpersonal skills required to ensure that customers are receiving a high level of care and assistance.

Giorgio Casti
Engineer of the Year based at Dial-a-Ride Palmers Green Depot
Vehicles must leave the depot in an almost military fashion each morning with any out of service vehicles promptly repaired. Giorgio is constantly aware of the need to avoid any delays for passengers and staff alike. He no sooner walks into the depot at 07:00 before the tools are out and vehicles are repaired and back in service. He takes great pride in the standards of repairs to 'his' vehicles and 'his' garage. Indeed, many visitors to the site comment on the tidiness and cleanliness of the garage area and store room. Giorgio often gets called out to assist drivers when vehicles have developed faults right at the end of his shift and will work over his rostered hours to provide a great service.

Paula Biggs based at Dial-a-Ride Mandela Way, Southwark
Service Support Person of the Year
Paula is good at problem solving and has a positive 'can-do' attitude and thinks innovatively. She is totally reliable, and gets on well with customers, colleagues and stakeholders. For her total dedication to Dial-a-Ride, recognition is long overdue.

Rino Marcangelo 
Duty Manager of the Year based at Dial-a-Ride North Wembley depot
Rino always has a positive attitude towards getting the job done as soon as possible and never breaks under pressure in any circumstance. He always sees the humorous side of any issue making it a pleasure to work with him.

Irene Ikazoboh
Management Control Centre Supervisor of the Year based at Dial-a-Ride Mandela Way, Southwark
Irene has been a team leader for nearly five years and has consistently demonstrated all of the qualities that make a good supervisor. She has a very good rapport with all her team - encouraging her reservationists to develop and learn, balanced with the need for good performance. She is always cheerful with a positive attitude and works well with colleagues throughout the Management Control Centre.

Travel Mentoring Team based at Dial-a-Ride Mandela Way, Southwark
Team of the Year
The team all volunteered to be TfL Travel Ambassadors during the London 2012 Games, working the maximum number of shifts alongside their day to day responsibilities. They have also been instrumental in the success of the award winning 'Bus Days', a multi-agency initiative which helps disabled Londoners experience travelling on a London bus in a safe and controlled environment. 'Bus Days' are now taking place in nine London boroughs and their success continues to grow.

Lewis Wright, Dial-a-Ride Operational Training Manager
Improving safety award
Lewis has taken the lead on creating 'wheelchair passports' for Dial-a-Ride which ensure drivers have specific information on the best way to safely secure wheelchairs in Dial-a-Ride vehicles. He has also created a database for electric wheelchairs and updates it on a regular basis as new models come onto the market. His work in this area has become a benchmark in safely securing wheelchairs, helping to contribute to the development of a British Standard 'wheelchair passport' system which is currently being finalised.

Wimbledon Depot
Depot of the Year
Each depot was judged according to criteria focusing on five key areas: customer service, staff performance, and operational, financial and environmental efficiency.

Judges' Award for actions above and beyond the call of duty
Joint winners: Noreen Minihane based at Dial-a-Ride Woodford and William Richards based at Dial-a-Ride North Wembley
The quick thinking of Dial-a-Ride driver Noreen helped to save three lives earlier this year in Havering when she was working a late shift. As she was dropping a passenger home she saw a car ahead of her in the traffic hit a parked car and then drive off. Noreen thought that the driver was behaving strangely and that something was not right. She decided to follow the car and noticed that there were two small children screaming and crying in the back. The car continued to weave across the road, cut corners and eventually hit a tree.

Noreen raced from her vehicle and grabbed the keys of the car as the female driver was trying to restart the engine. While trying to calm the children, Noreen called the emergency services. When the police and ambulance arrived they told Noreen that the driver was seconds away from slipping into a diabetic coma and without her intervention there could have been fatal consequences.

William put his Dial-a-Ride emergency first aid training to good use in September last year when he saved the life of an elderly Dial-a-Ride member who had a heart attack in the post office after being dropped off. William performed CPR until the ambulance arrived, with the ambulance driver remarking that the passenger would have died had it had not been for William's intervention. The passenger has now recovered and is back travelling with Dial-a-Ride.

Notes to editors:

  • Images from the Dial-a-Ride awards are available from the TfL press office on request
  • Dial-a-Ride provides a multi-occupancy door-to-door service for people with a permanent or long term disability who cannot use public transport.  People must register to use the service and can then book trips for leisure and social purposes such as shopping, visiting friends and family, or going to the theatre
  • In addition, Dial-a-Ride also offers a Travel Mentoring Service for disabled people who want to use mainstream public transport.  The service provides a mentor to help them gain knowledge and confidence on the transport system and become an independent traveller