Greyhound Operator Honored with Green Cross Medal

Every year for a decade now, the National Safety Council has chosen a company that it says demonstrates, through safety leadership demonstrated by its CEO, a steadfast commitment to improving safety and health in the workplace and its community. NSC awards that company the prestigious Green Cross for Safety Medal, and for 2009--the tenth anniversary of the award--the council chose FirstGroup, a provider of busing and maintenance services to municipalities, school districts, and the general public in Canada and the United States.

FirstGroup’s North American operations, based in Cincinnati, account for 100,000 of its 137,000 employees worldwide. Part of the Aberdeen, U.K.-based FirstGroup plc, FirstGroup America is the leading transportation company in North America, transporting more than 2.5 billion passengers a year. The company operates Greyhound services in the United States and Canada and is one of the continent’s largest private sector providers of transit management and contracting services, maintaining fleets for both public and private sector customers, including fire and police departments. The company’s First Student division, meanwhile, is the largest provider of student conveyance, transporting 4 million students a day in more than 1,500 school districts in North America. The company owns and operates more than 70,000 school and transit buses and maintains many more vehicles in more than 1,100 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

“We believe FirstGroup is a trendsetter and an industry leader in safety and health,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO. “FirstGroup maintains an outstanding safety record and demonstrates daily its commitment to improving quality of life in communities where its employees work and live. These factors were integral to our decision to present FirstGroup with the Green Cross for Safety Medal, as was its strong safety culture, led by Sir Moir Lockhead.”

In addition to being deputy chairman and chief executive of FirstGroup plc, Lockhead also is chairman of the company’s executive safety committee. “I am pleased to accept this celebrated award on behalf of the 137,000 First Group employees who have embraced our safety culture and whose commitment to safety makes First a remarkable company,” he said. “We put safety first in everything we do and in every decision we make.”

Mike Murray, president and CEO of FirstGroup America, is representing the company this week at NSC’s Congress & Expo here in Orlando. In addition to receiving accolades during Tuesday night’s national awards ceremony, he was a principal member in Monday’s Executive Edge Track panel discussion on “The Role of the EHS Executive in an Economic Downturn,” joining the safety directors from the U.S. Marine Corps and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, as well as Fluor Hanford’s COO and executive VP, in answering the question, “How Do We Deal with the Conditions of the Economy Strategically?”

Delta Air Lines was the 2008 recipient of the Green Cross for Safety Medal. UPS was the 2007 honoree, DuPont was the 2006 honoree, and Liberty Mutual Group was the 2005 honoree. Other past recipients include: Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler, Kenny Construction Co., Ryder Systems Inc., Intel Corp., and AK Steel Corp.

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