For the last nearly 15 years, Cliff Dickman has been behind the wheel of a TARTA bus. Known as an “extra board operator,” Dickman’s days are anything but typical. But that’s how he likes it. The idea of one route, all the time, was never one that interested him. He jokes that it’s hard to plan family dinners, but says he prefers to change it up – from where he drives to his daily duties.
Dickman wears many hats at the Central avenue garage. Not only does he take on the responsibility of getting passengers where they need to go, but he’s also the vice president of the Amalgamated Transit Union – Local 697 and a trainer. Currently, he’s working with a group of new hires, preparing them for their new positions at TARTA. And this month, he’s added the title: “operator of the month.”
“I’m very thankful,” he said of the designation.
Here at TARTA, employees must meet certain qualifications to be considered for the accolade. According to TARTA superintendent of transportation, Tom Metzger, they look for “perfect attendance for 3 months, the candidate must be accident, WRV and complaint free, as well as, have commendations from passengers and recommendations by supervisors.”
This isn’t the first time Dickman was recognized for his actions on the job. In fact, his name is on the “Wall of Fame” at the Central avenue facility for an act of heroism.
Dickman says he and a co-worker were out testing a route when they saw smoke billowing from a house in west Toledo. They stopped and a neighbor said the woman who lived in the home was elderly and may still be inside.
“The whole back of the house was on fire,” he said. “We broke down the door to get inside.”
Fortunately, the homeowner wasn’t home and was safe. Dickman, though, didn’t leave anything to chance.
When he isn’t out in the community, the lifelong Toledoan and Waite High School graduate is spending his free time with his six grandkids, who admittedly keep him very busy.
TARTA wants to thank Dickman for his hard work and commitment to our mission. Congratulations to our driver of the month!
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