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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
Comments

One Comment

  1. Ronny says:

    unfortunately people are being hoodwinked.
    Daw was not fired because he helped anyone but because he did not notify his company. The policy doesn’t say you cant help someone, that would be rediculous. All he had to do was contact his dispatcher using his radio. Maybe his radio hand was preoccupied wth his camera taking all the photos he released to the media. Also despite the lie Daw told, he did not he file a written report afterwards. Based on the termination letter he has been flashing around he did not tell his company anything at all.
    They had to ask him what happend to his vehicle the next day. Only then did he put anything in writing. How about the media print the termination letter in full showing the dates and how about a comment from the Matron who was on board. Rumor has it he turned down the first 2 people who asked for help??
    I for one am sorry they reinstated him.

  2. Jess says:

    I wish people would see that helping the stranded officers and meeting company requirement does not appear to mutually exclusive. He could easily have done both and thus be a good employee and a good samaritan.
    I think unfortunately for the company this employee is not capabe of this.
    In this bad weather he saw fit to take photo’s and yet at no point thought it appropriate to contact his employer. I understand they have radio’s on all the vehicles even the small suburban car that he was driving.
    Also according to the date on the termination letter he is flashing around, he did not report anything until the following day. Funny how the news didn’t report that.
    I wish the people he declined to help would come forward and give their report of what happened. Or the matron on the bus? Perhaps then we would be reading fair and balanced views instead of skewed and misleading reports from Mr Daw.

  3. Homy says:

    Dear Long Island Drivers Assistant,
    Are you an employee of the company? If so, why aren’t they releasing this information? Did he have previous warnings?
    Why are they taking him back?

    1. Long Island Drivers Assistant says:

      No, not of that company but another one in the area. There is a lot of talk about it even in my company. I know the rules though, they are pretty straight forward.
      You dont take anyone not allowed on the bus before calling your dispatcher. All the buses have radios and it takes about 10 seconds. I would have been fired at my company too if I didn’t call my dispatcher. We heard he didn’t file a report until asked to the next day. If i was his drivers assistant I would have told him to radio the dispatcher so that we could help the policemen without getting in trouble.

      1. Homy says:

        Interesting, do you think the company would have been ok with helping the officers if he had contacted his dispatcher? And why did they take him back?

      2. Long Island drivers Assistant says:

        Yes I really do, we often help police, firefighters and EMS. I think the problem was that he didn’t do any safety checks first and call the dispatcher. I am not sure why they took him back. I dont think my company would hire him, he makes up his own rules.
        Maybe they got pressure from the union.

  4. steve says:

    no good deed goes unpunished.

  5. Kurt Spitzner says:

    THE OWNERS AT THIS BUS COMPANY MUST BE OUT OF THEIR MINDS!CAN YOU SAY LAWSUIT BECAUSE I AM SURE THAT’S WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF NOBODY CAN TALK SENSE INTO THE BUS COMPANY AND ISSUE AN APOLOGY AS WELL AS GIVE HIS JOB BACK WITH NO HARD FEELINGS…IN WRITING!
    EVERYONE IS UPTIGHT WITH THIS HORRID ECONOMY BUT LETS STOP TAKING IT OUT ON EVERYONE ELSE!

    1. Charles B says:

      Kurt, the only mistake the owners made was taking this driver back.
      The driver could have both helped the officers and radioed his boss – problem solved. Instead the driver took photos and blew off company policy.
      The policy doesn’t say he cant help, only that he must report it.
      Also, where was the big hero when the 2 other people asked for help? why was it that they were not worthy of help.
      I am sure the lying sack will file a lawsuit, maybe then someone will actually investigate the truth rather than taking the word of this moron. If he was a driver for my kid I would complain until they took him off my route.

  6. Stacey Plescia Delise says:

    This world is getting backwards. Where is the common sense???? People that are book smart are not always smart!!!! You need to have some compassion and common sense sometimes! The child still had a seat on the bus… it isn;t like the child was put out to make room for the officers. Bless you , Mr. Daw. you may not have your job right now but you are a much better person than most.

    1. kids mom says:

      Stacey I am sure the 2 people that asked for help that Mr Daw declined are not blessing him. I dont think blessing can help this big liar. He spent his time taking photos and probably calling his friends.
      Based on what Long Island Driver Assistant said, all he had to do was call his dispatcher and then helping the officers would have been fine. I am glad he doesn’t drive my disabled kid. And I am sorry he got his job back.

  7. Stacey Plescia Delise says:

    This world is getting backwards. Where is the common sense???? People that are book smart are not always smart!!!! You need to have some compassion and common sense sometimes!

  8. movement says:

    what if..those 3 officers could have really been 3 violent human beings that came on the bus and killed everyone on it. It could happen and it does happen

    1. kids mom says:

      I agree, look at what happened in Norway. thank goodnes they were genuine officers

  9. gjk says:

    Seems everybody agrees that because they were police officers this was the right thing to do, but what if they had been illegal immigrants stuck in the back of some beat up pickup truck?

    If they were just everyday people, like you and me?

    Or a bunch of teenagers in hoodies?

  10. Nick says:

    The man who picked up the three undercover officers, has a pretty good reason for being fired. The flooded street he drove into to “rescue” the three undercover officers already had three cars stalled and stopped in the street. Him driving through the flood caused damage to the bus and the damage could’ve been easily avoided by not driving into an area where cars were stalled.

    Secondly, as should be known, company policy states that no one who is unauthorized should be allowed to enter the bus, including police and parents. Along with this, they allegedly flashed a badge at the driver, but it is entirely possible to easily fool the common pedestrian with a fake badge.

    Thirdly, he did not even radio dispatch to ask if he could do this or call the precinct to see if they were actually cops. All of this caused the company, under strict policy rules, to fire the driver with the backing of the Union. After the driver was fired, he went to the news with his “rescue” story and the Union did a 180 and decided he was justified.

    This isn’t to say he did a horrible thing, what he did was kind and humane, yes, but the company is entirely justified in firing Daw as he clearly broke rules, put a child in jeopardy, and damaged a company vehicle.

    1. kids mom says:

      love your comments Nick

  11. Dennis says:

    Shame on them for firing him. We live in a world where it’s hard enough to find people to help others and people who actually care anymore. How would they like it if they (the bosses) got stranded in a terrible storm and no one stopped to help THEM? All I can say is what goes around comes around and obviously these people were not taught love and kindness. Shame shame shame on you.

  12. Tim Boggs says:

    The Drivers actions were warrented and his employeer should extract their heads from anal deathacade.

  13. Sue Goldstein says:

    CAN SOMEONE START A FACEBOOK PAGE TO HELP THIS HERO GET HIS JOB BACK? OR MAYBE HE SHOULDN’T WORK FOR THOSE JERKS AGAIN?!?

  14. Es says:

    This company should be sued. I would boycott this company, and tell everyone I know to spread the word to others what they did. These people should be ashamed of themselves.

  15. Mark says:

    Corporate web site: http://www.thetransgroup.com/

    Boss’s name: Tim Flood

  16. Mark says:

    Educational Bus Transportation

    (631) 842-7475

    222 Hudson St, Copiague, NY 11726

  17. Maggie says:

    @Matt… Are you sure you are not the guy who fired Mr Daw and just trying to justify your actions? You are a heartless person and I hope that the day will come when you cry for help but every single being on earth will turn their back on you.

  18. atlantis says:

    The driver actually did place the occupants of the bus in danger. How did the bus driver know for certain they were real cops he picked up? ID’s these days dont mean a thing. Although the drivers intentions were right,the action taken by the bus company was also the correct one. There was no emergency for the cops except getting back to their precinct a little dryer than walking it.

  19. Mark says:

    Feel free to share your opinion where it matters.

    Educational Bus Transportation

    (631) 842-7475

    222 Hudson St, Copiague, NY 11726

  20. DONNA says:

    I THINK THE BUS DRIVER IS A VERY HEROIC PERSON. HE WENT WITH HIS GUT FEELING DECIDING IF THEY WERE OFFICERS. AND IT TURNS OUT HE WAS RIGHT AND IS A CARING PERSON THAT PUT HIS LIFE AND OTHER PEOPLES IN JEOPARDY. SINCE IT TURNED OUT THAT THE OFFICERS WERE OFFICERS I HOPE THAT THEY CAN HELP THE BUS DRIVER GET HIS JOB BACK. SHAME ON THE COMPANY THAT FIRED HIM, I THINK IF IT TURNED OUT GOOD THAT THEY CAN CHANGE THERE RULES.WE NEED MORE CARING PEOPLE LIKE HIM IN THE WORLD.

  21. franyafranya says:

    SO many good points made already, and the whole thing seems so black and white, it’s hardly worth commenting further, except to point out that if he had not picked up the cops and they got hurt or died, we would all be here condemning him. He might even be facing some kind of charge – either for not obeying the officers’ request, or for negligence of some kind or other, three times over. The company is really out on a limb.
    I would hazard another guess and say that if he belonged to a union, there would be no firing; this is a moment when unions are very much needed.
    Let’s all make sure he gets a commendation from the town, at the very least!

  22. FR says:

    SO many good points made already, and the whole thing seems so black and white, it’s hardly worth commenting further, except to point out that if he had not picked up the cops and they got hurt or died, we would all be here condemning him. He might even be facing some kind of charge – either for not obeying the officers’ request, or for negligence of some kind or other, three times over. The company is really out on a limb.
    I would hazard another guess and say that if he belonged to a union, there would be no firing; this is a moment when unions are very much needed.

  23. Meela says:

    What is the world coming to. He saved human lives. Does that not count for something? Cold, heartless people these days running companies. If he had saved someone in their family he still would have got the boot. My heart goes out to you for doing the right humane thing only to be fired. I hope goodness comes your way soon. Makes me feel good knowing that there are still good people like you in the world. Blessed be.

  24. Jkraemer says:

    Children must necessarily be covered by a school bus driver with the authority to ‘Act’ outside policy when necessary. When not the case fear of termination can drive the bus driver and children riding within such an environment are automatically in danger. I realize wacko’s are out there and caution must be exercised. Can not myself find a valid issue warranting termination in this story’s case — What I found was a cautious bus driver that chose to act. The story seems to present an example of a hostile workplace, the sort of workplace we all ought to avoid working for.

  25. Doug Miller says:

    In my humble opinion, the boss of this bus company has a PHD in idiocy. He should be raked over the coals publicly and boycotted to the point of bankruptcy. The world is far too full of morons like this. Tar and Feathers would be appropriate, as well as some citizen pickets at his place of business, and his home.

    1. questions says:

      You clearly sound upset but you have reached this judgement based purely on what you are reading in the media. I am not blaming you for that but consider that there may be another side to this story. Ready through these blogs I have some unanswered questions:
      1 why didnt my daw help the first 2 people that asked him
      2 why didnt my daw radio his dispatcher
      3 why didnt my daw contact the precinct to confirm the officers
      4 why did my daw spend time taking photos
      5 why didn’t he file a written report when he returned to his job
      6 why did the company have to ask him what happend the next day
      7 why wasnt the matron interviewed to get her version
      8 why didn’t the union support my daw in the beginning
      9 why is everyone talking about this like it was life threatening
      I would love to hear rational answers to this

  26. gjk says:

    Let’s think of this another way. What if, trying to save the cops, the child on the bus had gotten killed? How many of you would be saying the school bus driver was right then?

    Don’t get me wrong, i applaud what he did, but what if the child had died?

  27. LCHC says:

    All of you people are right in your own thinking. Just use common sense. Some one needs help, go help. Golden Rule. If you don’t know it you don’t belong in here.

    1. gjk says:

      “You don’t belong in here”

      ??? Thanks for setting the guidelines.

  28. Ginger says:

    Reminder: Dont pick up the boss from Educational Bus Company during next hail storm if there is one…You’re on your own buddy!

  29. RJ says:

    If you really want to IMPACT THEM…. Contact their customers and share your dislike for the company

  30. Jack says:

    As a former school bus driver in Illinois, I would not have hesitated to help the police officers. The driver should be reinstated with pay from the time of his dismissal. Jack

    1. Jess says:

      Jack, would you have radioed your dispatcher to tell him what you were doing?
      Would you have turned down 2 civilians prior to the officers asking
      Would you have turned in a written report on the same day reporting the incident and the damage to the vehicle
      would you have take photos at the scene

  31. LTW says:

    At what point do we fight back to stupid morons because they fear of being sued….JC….this man help someone, more than I can say for you disgusting POS that fired him……

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