Long Island Bus Driver Fired After Rescuing 3 Police Detectives During Hail Storm

George Daw, Nassau County Cops Stunned By Educational Bus' Decision

WEST BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island school bus driver was called into his boss’ office expecting commendation. Instead, he said he was fired for helping three police officers stranded in a violent storm — and transporting them in his school bus.

School bus driver George Daw lost his job Monday in a firing flap that began during last week’s freak and violent hail storm. He was quite emotional when he spoke to CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

“Who wouldn’t be? It’s crazy,” Daw said.

Daw snapped pictures as a near-monsoon moved through New Hyde Park. Traffic was stopped, cars were submerged and drivers panicked.

Daw finally freed his yellow SUV school bus — with his one single child passenger aboard — amid sudden cries for help from three Nassau County police detectives.

“Do I leave these three police officers, due to company policy?” Daw said. “I didn’t even second guess it. I told the child to jump in the back, these people are coming on board. I had to get them.”

Daw rescued and transported the police officers — their unmarked patrol car was a total loss. He said he continued to home base in Copiague, where he filled out an incident report. But instead of praise, he was handed a notice of termination, which said in part: “Employee endangered welfare of student he was transporting when he picked up three unauthorized passengers.”

It also said: “Employee made decision to drive through large body of water.”

“It’s not like I pulled off the road into a lake trying to endanger somebody’s life. I was caught in a storm,” Daw said.

McLogan asked to speak to Daw’s boss at Educational Bus, but she was told several times there was no one there to speak to her.

The three Nassau detectives and their commanding officer are flabbergasted at the firing.

“We are sorry to hear of any negative consequences that arose from his helping out my detectives,” Detective Lt. Raymond Cote said.

Daw suddenly finds himself unemployed, spending his days at home. He said he’s hoping for his job back, but not expecting his phone to ring.

Daw’s two sons are studying to be police and naval officers. He said if he had the chance to help first responders again, he would not hesitate.

Do you think this punishment is fair? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Jennifer McLogan
  • Janice G

    This school bus company is an idiot. You have to go case by case, and in this case they have a very upstanding driver who doesn’t appear to be someone to put a child’s life in danger. If anything, having the cops aboard would be helpful in this situation. The man did a good thing and needs his job back. We’ve become too fearful as a people and lost our common sense.

  • Daw day 2012

    This guy gets fired! And vick gets his job back? This is one day I’m not proud to be a amercian. We need to set a daw day, and all do something nice for a stranger no matter how small the deed may b bless you mr daw

  • Simon

    How stupid and egocentric can you get? If a situation is CLEARLY critical, you help. PERIOD. If a cop is in danger, shows his badge, you don’t give him the finger with a lame excuse such as “it could have been a fake badge”. A life is a life. If you can save one or more, do it. Otherwise nobody will want to save you when the time comes.

  • Debbie

    The law Is the law. No unauthorized passengers! It’s there for the protection and safety of the children we transport.. He could have called for help. Yes we are not to use cell phones…Except in case of an extreme emergency.. I a. Sure this would qualify!

    • nl waterman

      Debbie, how do you know he could have called for help? From the sound of it, it was an IMMEDIATE DANGER situation. What if that was your daughter, or husband, or mother, and because someone thought policy was more important, your loved one died in that storm because it took too long for help to get there. It’s called common sense. Policy should never trump common sense and protection of life. This policy was probably written with the intention of, don’t pick up hitchhikers, or your buddies to go joy riding, or your grandma to drop her at the store on your route. If its obvious its a life/death immediate situation due to an act of god that no one could have planned, where lives were at stake, rationality should kick in and common sense should take over. Period.

  • DianeD

    The next time, somebody who thinks just like you do, will look the other way and keep on going, but the next time the person who needs assistance and needs to be saved will be you!

  • theodore

    Matt….You’re an A$$

  • Jay

    The idiocy of “zero tolerance” in the name of safety assumes perfect safety can be assured by slavish adherence to these invented policies. It eliminates any exercise of reasonableness, or erring on the side of compassion. It also gives cover to management to fire someone to fit a hidden agenda. I was subjected to such action.

  • Nicholas Delaney

    but u know it makes alot of sense…cuz if this happened in CANADA…kids in the car or not…we would stop and help any way we can..thats the problem with america..u are all to selfish to care about other walks of life…it says alot about who you are matt and the values and morals u show ur kids…i pray for them and you…hope the world takes an easy on ur sorry ass

  • Lsx Camaroz

    Matt sucks at life.

  • Lsx Camaroz

    People like you are the reason why we have a communist in the white house. You need a mental exam and to be deported to whatever country suits you best…China

  • Nicholas Delaney

    well thank god ur not a human being…u make me sick..and if it were u on the side of the road id run u over…prick

  • Junior

    Give him his job back D-Bags!

  • Steve F.

    I am gonna go against grain and agree with you.

    When ever I am driving alone and see someone broken down on the side of the road, I always stop to help.

    When I have my kids in the car, I just keep driving.

    I guess my instincts as a parent supercede my want to help my fellow humans.

    also if he was written up for driving in the water, and that got him fired, I bet he has other demrits against him as well.

  • nick lutz

    Last year a man here died in a hail storm with baseball sized hail, seeking shelter under a tree. Leaving someone out to weather a storm like that is unconscionable.

  • Michael

    Do all the people who made negative comments realized that the driver did not pick up hitch hikers on the side of the rode. He help 3 people in and emergency situation. It is really crazy what is going on in this country. that people would have to worry about there job when they were helping in and emergency. What a shame

  • Ron

    you are an idiot…. way to care about your fellow man… go ahead and email me if you want..


  • Kevin

    Matt hopefully your child is a better person than you are. You are all that is wrong with America

  • Brian

    Matt, I think it’s clear from the overwhelming majority of comments here that you’re wrong. I’m sure you believe that you are right, but common decency would call for any good person to do what the driver did. If you wouldn’t, you’re simply a bad person and I feel sorry for you.

  • Not Matt

    You are an absolute idiot. Are you honestly trying to say that you would not help out someone in need? I truely hope that you are not teaching your child the morals you think you have.

  • proverbs3

    Mr. Daw, I’d be proud to have you as my children’s bus driver! Not only did you rescue and help 3 people in a dangerous senerio, regardless of it being police or if it was 3 homeless people in that storm. You taught that child a life lesson of Caring for others . I hope that child remenbers this and will also follow this Good Samaritans example! We need more people like Mr. Daw!

  • Phillip

    Classic example of the type bureaucratic stupidity that leaves one scratching their head. Or the exective with a $5 million dollar salary and bonus who called his Helpdesk to say his computer screen is frozen. A guy at the helpdesk making $10/hr has to tell him to reboot his computer. I mean, does any of this make any sense?

  • Melissa

    People like you are a big part of the problem in this once great country.

  • Adam Percifull

    Matt, people like you are the reason good people die. I hope your child does’t grow up to be like you.

  • Tuathal Thomas Fitzsimmons

    You have a child. Big Freakin deal, I have SIX. I would have been outraged if the driver had NOT helped ANY individual, police or NOT. We’re talking HUMANITY and CRISIS here, The Bus Driver is not your precious child;s personal body guard to the exclusion of all humanity.

  • Matt

    @ Brian
    I did read the article. Stopped or not, school bus drivers cannot use cell phones while passengers are present.

    I have a heart. For the the welfare of the child on board. I guess you don’t have kids.

    • Jeffrey Shallcross

      i have kids too, so dont make remarks about the kid in the bus, he was fine, and the driver did the only thing he could do, besides the fact, what would the story be if it went the other way? something like, bus driver lets 3 cops die in flood.

      your a jack ass Matt, and i bet your one of those people who are always saying , i didnt want to get involved.

      • Paula Burke

        What is this world coming to?God must be very upset with is people:O( Sad very sad!

    • HQD

      As the oldest of twelve, I would hope that if any of them were on board, that the driver STILL would have done the same thing. My mother has pulled over and helped stranded people with toddlers and babies in the car. Not ONCE has anything bad ever happened.

      Just two weeks ago, we gave a woman a ride home because there were muggings going on in that area. With my little sister in the car. She was freaked out, but otherwise pleasant company, and we felt no danger in doing it. In fact, we were all relieved that she got home safely. I would have felt horrible if I read the news and learned she was harmed because we did not do anything.

      This is not something we do often—we do NOT pick up every hitchhiker we come across, but if someone is clearly in trouble, there is only ONE right answer: we help them. I have had this favor paid back at least twice in my life.

      Now, to my point, what you are saying is that one kid’s life is more important than those men’s? Who gave you the right to determine that? Guess what? Each of those men is someone’s son too. And each of those men have family, and they could be fathers too. Is it better to let them die and have THEIR children go through the heartbreak of losing their dads? All because some prick like you decides their lives are meaningless “for the sake of the children”?

      I also hope you would have that same line of thinking if you were one of the men stranded in the storm, regardless of whether or not the child was yours. ESPECIALLY if it was your child. Because, oh holy one, you would gladly rather drown than have the option to go back home, all for the sake of the child.

      You fail at basic human decency. Yes, there are bad people out there, but in my experience, most people are better than you give them credit for.

      i pity you and your lack of compassion.

  • Matt


    Obviously you chose not to read my whole comment. I cited the Norway shooting as an example of what dangers can arise from blindly trusting a “badge” or uniform.
    I would expect a school bus driver with kids on board to not pick me up in a storm.
    I certainly hope when my child is on the school bus, no driver stops to pick up any random people.

    The saftey of the one child on board is more important than three grown men in some bad weather.

  • Brian

    First of all, it clearly states that he was snapping pictures while “traffic was stopped”. Try to read before attacking something.

    Secondly, while, yes, you are correct that police Ids can be faked, in this case, he was in the right. His was the only vehicle able to traverse the water and he helped three stranded humans, no matter what their professions are. Grow a heart.

  • Char

    Totally not fair. What’s wrong with those people HE DEFINATLY SHOULD GET HIS JOB BACK AND WITH THE PAY HE LOST. HE DID A AWESOME THING. God Bless him.

  • Dems4America

    The police endangered the kid by bus jacking. They could have called for help on their radios. Our country will fail if we dont obey laws and policies.

  • Nicole

    Now people can’t rescue people any more because someone shot someone in Norway?
    Or in the US?
    Give me a break.
    Next time I see you in a storm, remind me not to rescue you.
    Of course he did the right thing.

  • HP

    CBS News, please follow up with this story. Everyone wants this driver to get his job back and the supervisor fire instead. Thanks.

  • I. M. Bord

    Lost his job? Heh, I think the bus company should lose their contract.

    • Stan

      Good thinking about the Contract – I agree. the city has leverage here.

      Meanwhile, I wish there was a prominenet attorney there – not a beginner – not a hungry one – but a known name that would represent this driver.

      Police union? Parents? Mayor? Council? Anybody in power with authority care to right this wrong???

  • VokMan Rishad

    Wow thats messed up, I truly hate politics. This dudes idiot boss deserves a very serious beat down!


  • Tuathal Thomas Fitzsimmons

    It doesnt even matter that they were police officers. They were human beings in trouble, and the Driver did the right thing, The worship of ‘rules’ over common sense and hunanity is disgusting.

  • Kat

    The police – and even the child’s parents (if they agree) – should write and call this guy’s ex-boss. I hope another bus company hires him.

  • jtorres

    This is exactly why most people “don’t want to get involved” As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. I would have done the same thing. I can’t ignore or walk away from someone – anyone- crying for or needing help. I’ll try to help if I can, even if it’s calling 911 or even offering calm and comfort to someone who is injured. It’s called humanity and this driver has restored my faith that there are still people out there who do the right thing no matter the cost to them. There must be a person or company who is looking for an employee who has and uses common sense

  • Joey Termine

    If ever his boss is found in a situation like those 3 police officers were, I hope nobody reaches to help him or her.

  • steve

    Obviously you weren’t there. This was a dangerous situation calling for immediate action to save lives. Kudos to the driver!

  • steve

    Check the boss for a green card.

  • Jeffery Anderson

    Company policy cannot cover every situation. Good personal judgement — a character trait that was obviously exhibited here — should be desirable in any good employee. Are you seriously advocating having these guys wait outside in a hailstorm, risking severe injury, in the hopes that an emergency vehicle can get to them in a timely manner in those weather conditions? Step outside of the box!

  • Kris

    Undercover cops in an unmarked car. So what you’re all saying is I can walk up to any bus, call for “help”, flash a badge, and I get to ride the school bus with your kids. Frankly, I’m stunned so many of you are ok with this. The bus driver is charged with the safety of the children. Yes, these were actual cops; he got lucky. I agree with the firing.


      Well, if you can plan for it to go down during an unexpected Act of God that puts your life in immediate danger with no warning, and you’re screaming for help, and no, not to ride a yellow bus, but for someone to save you, well WOWIE! That would be a hellofa feat. Maybe you should come to my neck of the woods in Tornado Alley and try that during an EF-5. You wouldn’t make it to the steps of the bus, let alone standin around waiting for ER to get there. Can you say SUCKED UP AND SWOOPED AWAY?

    • Cray

      Kris said: “…I can walk up to any bus, call for “help”, flash a badge, and I get to ride the school bus with your kids. Frankly…”

      Frankly, you’re an idiot.
      How often do people walk on water, through a hail storm, flash a badge and ride the bus? Are you so daft that you can’t recognize an “unmarked” County Police car? The story facts, as presented, lend themselves to the driver recognizing a dangerous situation and rendering aid.

  • Allen Levy

    I would fire his boss and rehire the driver. The bus supervisor is an ass. He is the one in the wrong. Sometimes life is more important than some dumb rule.

  • Janet Massey

    George Daw did the right thing. A fund should be established in his name, so we can contribute to his financial needs at this time.

  • Abdul

    I am going to be very disappointed if the detectives’ police department allow that bus company to go a day without finding so many safety violations on all every bus they see that the fleet has to stay off the road EVERY DAY.

  • Cindy Kruta Kenney

    Common sense is becoming nonexistent in our society and around the world. We are constantly being discouraged to help our fellow man because of rules and regulations….and freaking lawsuits. Our reluctance to help a stranger in need will be the downfall of society. These were actual police officers. I understand the comments of others when they ask, “what if….”. Well, what if I’m walking from my garage to my mailbox and get hit in the head by a chunk of ice falling from the sky and die? The possibility isn’t going to deter me from checking my mail daily. What if I see an elderly woman in a car broken down on the side of the road with a flat tire? It’s possible she’s actually a rapist in disguise, but I’m still going to stop and help her. If we constantly fear the possibilities, we will never live.

  • Kristen

    Would the bus driver still have been fired if he rescued the manager’s family and not detectives…. when does the madness end?



  • Max

    hey show a pic of the boss!!!!

  • Marie

    if people he rescued were part of the boss’s family he would be recieving a raise….

    I do hope the police department can put in a good word…

    common sense in an emergemncy situation is crucial to prevent loss of life.

    God bless you Mr. Daw. I wish all bus drivers were like you.

  • sparverio

    Let’s see if I understand this situation. The lives of three human beings are in danger. The driver had to make a choice between letting them die or following proceedures in a handbook with rigid beaucratic regulations locked up in some dusty drawer in a bus garage. Interesting choice? So, what did he do? He exercised good old fashion American common sense and good judgment and everyone arrived safely home to their loved ones. What were the results? The second guessing, politically correct, let me cover my cowardly hind quarter, let’s thrown him “under the bus” crowd reacted once again. From the White House to the Bus Garage, this picture is being played out across the country on a daily basis. Let’s hear it for the bus driver and good old American values!

    • kb9

      I am a volunteer firefighter and I absolutely do not believe that the driver was 100% in the right. I am thankful that the police officers were safe, but that isn’t the issue. There was a teenage passenger in the van, and the safety of that child should have been the first thing on the driver’s mind. What would have happened if the police officers were impersonators? His first and only concern should have been to carry out his job following the policies and procedures in place to protect that child. In not following those, he was in violation and unfortunately that means putting up with the consequences. He was not fired for helping the police officers, he was fired on the grounds of violating policies and procedures. If he had been off duty he could have helped them as a civilian, but he needed to carry out his job and put the safety of that child first.

    • cheeriogrrrl

      “From the White House” you say? I may regret asking, but HOW are you bringing the White House into this incident which took place between a bus company, their now ex employee, and three policeman?

      Or is this just more smear based innuendo on the order of what we see from Fox?

      • Al

        I disagree. From the top down, regulation has run amok. Just look at the DOT proposed rule to make people who operate farm tractors get a commercial drivers license. Both Bush and Obama have exploded the number of government regulators, and this has rippled down through the state an local government. As the number of regulators has grown, the quality of the individuals has plummeted and there ability to use common sense has gone to zero.

      • RJ

        I agree this is a bit of a stretch… But I could see the concept that since the economy sucks, many companies are looking for reasons to fire people, not reasons to keep people…

      • Avg Joe

        Easy Cheeriogrrl, Its just a phrase, like saying top to bottom, from white house to city hall……..but its a bus garage this time……..don’t look for conspiracies here, sparverio hit the nail on the head, (or pinned the tail on the donkey, PUN INTENDED)

  • Marie






    • kb9

      Wrong. In an emergency you use the training you are taught. What does common sense tell you to do when your house is on fire? run. firefighters are taught to respond to this with special training and go against “common” sense and get the situation under control. If the child had not been in the bus it would be a different situation, but he didn’t put the child’s safety first and violated the policies and procedures put into place for protecting the children that the bus company is responsible for. What would have happened if those copes he picked were impersonators? everyone would be singing a different tune right now.

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