Local hero Graceanne Rumer recognized

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Local hero Graceanne Rumer recognized

Graceanne Rumer with her award at the House of Representatives

Stephen Goodwin, Centurion Staff

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What do you think about when you think of a hero? Do you think of somebody in a cape or mask, or do you think more realistically about the police, firefighters, and troops overseas. The latter is true, but now what do you think they look like? They are probably big burly guys that have nerves of steel and show no fear. So what if I told you that a hero could come in the form of a 17-year-old girl that wouldn’t hurt a fly?

That girl is Grace Anne Rumer.

Rumer is not a member of a police department, fire department, or an active member of the military, but she is an intelligent senior at Calvary Chapel High School. She did not stop a bank robbery, put out a fire, or capture a member of the Taliban, but she take charge of a chaotic situation and pull over a driverless school bus, saving all on board.

I sat down with Rumer and she was willing to relive the day of Jan. 24. Rumer had received her driver’s license two weeks before, but opted not to drive that day and instead took the school bus.

“I was saving on gas,” Rumer said. “I don’t have a job right now.”

After taking three mid-terms that day, Rumer groggily took her place on the bus and said to herself, “All I want to do is just go home and sleep.”

About two minutes after the school bus left the high school, it stopped at a red light at the intersection of Philmont and Byberry Road. Then, the bus driver suddenly fell over.

“Dear God”, Rumer said, “there is nobody driving the bus!”

One of the shocked students told Rumer that she had to go grab the wheel.

The red light changed to green and the bus started to drift into oncoming traffic. Some of the younger children started to cry.

Rumer then sprang into action by grabbing the wheel and pulled the bus over to the side of the road. With the driver still unconscious on the floor, people started calling 911.

Kayla Monty, a criminal justice major at Bucks from Washington Township said, “I think that’s awesome that she would have the right frame of mind to do something like that. I know that I would have been freaking out.”

Rumer kept her head and turned her attention to the younger passengers on the school bus and ushered them to the back of the bus.

“We did not want to have the kids get scared about seeing the body” Rumer said.

After the police and paramedics sorted out the situation Rumer went home.

“My principal came up to me the next day and told me I was like a hero, and I was like what, no I’m not” Rumer said.

The principal then offered to at least buy lunch for Rumer for her bravery. The following day different news stations were at the school looking to talk to Rumer about her experience.

As far as the publicity Rumer has gotten she has been on two radio stations including B101 and is being featured in a “Teen Magazine” website called Popcosmo.com as their pop star of the month. She turned down several offers to go on shows, but did take a trip with her family to the House of Representatives on Feb. 8.

“It was probably one of the most amazing days of my life” Rumer said.

Two of the representatives came up to her and asked her questions about that day. Then they took her into the main room of the building in front of about 100 representatives. The entire room stood to give Rumer a standing ovation.

This kind of publicity can make even the humblest person prideful, but Rumer still doesn’t consider herself a hero.

“I think anybody would have done the same thing if they were put into that situation” she said.

“I’m also a very panicky person that is scared of spiders and different things, so that was all God” Rumer said. “He just gave me the presence of mind to do what I needed to do.”

Katie Groff, a liberal arts major at Bucks from Feasterville, said “You can’t really think that was just coincidence. I think that was the Lord guiding her in that situation.”

In a world where heroes can be hard to come by at times, it’s comforting to know that one might be living just next door.

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