Pictured: Andrew Wickham (left) presents Ali Valyani with his award.

An Isle of Wight bus driver, who helped to save the life of one of his passengers, has claimed Southern Vectis’ employee of the year award.

Ali Valyani moved to the Island after transferring from the bus operators’ sister company, Go Ahead London.

He soon became a popular figure among staff and passengers, and on one occasion turned from driver to hero when a customer suffered a heart attack.

Ali was presented with his award by managing director, Andrew Wickham, at the company’s annual ceremony:

“We regularly receive compliments for Ali – telling us he consistently goes the extra mile.

“One specific example of this is when a customer collapsed whilst travelling on his bus. It transpired this gentleman was suffering a heart attack, and Ali made the brave decision to perform CPR whilst awaiting paramedics.

“Later we learned that our passenger may well not have survived, were it not for Ali’s heroic actions. Getting customers to their destinations on time is a challenge – but saving one’s life is extraordinary.”

As well as life-saving, Ali has also been praised for his “enthusiasm and superb customer service skills.”

Andrew added:

“This award is richly deserved. I would like to thank Ali for a great year and wish him a very successful 2019.”

In recognition of his efforts, Ali received £500 worth of vouchers and a framed certificate.