Art Lucas, who saved a woman's life in September 2003, is the first recipient of the ABF Medal of Excellence. Lucas is a driver for ABF's Buffalo service center. The award was presented by Bob Davidson, ABF President and chief executive officer.
"Art Lucas is a hero and a sterling example of what it means to have great people on your team. In addition to his life-saving actions, he is driven to help those in need whenever and wherever he can. He is also dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in his profession. His selfless attitude, his quick thinking and his concern for others compel us to recognize his valor with this ABF Medal of Excellence," said Davidson. "Art is a great example of the tremendous group of employees in the ABF system, and all of us are proud of him."
The life-saving incident occurred on September 3, 003, while Lucas was sitting in a Ghent, New York restaurant. A waitress collapsed on the floor and Lucas immediately ran to her side. She was unconscious and bleeding profusely from the mouth. Calling on his training as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician, Lucas cleared the woman's airway and began performing CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Paramedics later credited Lucas with saving the woman's life.
With ABF as a driver since 1981, Lucas is also a former fire chief with a long record of humanitarian service. He is a member of both the Federal Emergency Response Team and he Homeland Security Response Team. Lucas was among the volunteer firemen who served at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy. In fact, the incident in Ghent occurred as he was returning home after delivering a commemorative sculpture to the New York State Firemen's Home and Museum. Called Unity, the tree-ton sculpture was created by Brian Pfeiffer, who accompanied Lucas on the trip. Lucas ahs worked in the trucking industry since 1977. He is the winner of a Bronze Safe Driving Award, a two-time winner of the New York State Western Regional Driver of the Year Award, and a respected competitor in the New York State Truck Driving Championship.