Milan town plow operator rescues stuck school bus

A difficult school bus trip home through an afternoon snow storm on Feb. 3 became a little easier thanks to the fast work of a Milan plow operator.

In a post on a local public Facebook forum, the Red Hook school bus driver thanked the man, whose name she did not know. “This plow guy is my hero for the day and I want to thank him for saving us,” she wrote. Within a day, the post had over 300 “likes.”

“It’s not much of a story,” Milan Highway Supervisor Glenn Butler cautioned when the Observer reached him at the town highway garage. He said he was out on his own plow run Monday afternoon around 4pm when he received a call from the Red Hook School District transportation supervisor, Jeff Popp, that a bus had become stuck on Milan Hill Road near Willow Glen Road with 15 kids on board.

Butler radioed to the closest truck, which was driven by Anthony “Tony” Pulver who was plowing on Odak Farm Road.

Popp met Pulver, who has plowed for Milan about seven years, at the bus with a tow chain, and Pulver used the plow truck to tow the bus to where it could be driven again.

“I plowed on one side of the bus and then I turned around and I backlaid the snow a little bit in front of it, and then I finished plowing it all off. I put down some salt all the way around the bus…and then I pulled it up the hill,” Pulver said.

Milan Hill Road is maintained by the county, Butler noted, so his trucks don’t normally plow there, although his team takes care of the roads that intersect with it. But jurisdiction did not factor into Butler’s decision.

“Jeff doesn’t ask for a whole lot, so if I could help him out, I was happy to do it,” Butler added.
Popp told the Observer he and the bus driver prefer to do their jobs and “fly under the radar,” but were grateful for the help from Milan. “We have a great working relationship with the Town of Red Hook and the Town of Milan and they’re always there for us when we need them…When we’re in trouble out there on the roads, they’re there to help us out,” he said.

“We help people out all the time. To us, it’s not really a big deal,” Pulver added.

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