L.I. Bus Driver George Daw, Fired For Rescuing 3 Detectives, Gets Job Back

WEST BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Long Island bus driver who was fired last week after helping three stranded Nassau County detectives during a downpour has been reinstated following a union hearing Friday.

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George Daw and his union boss walked victoriously out of a grievance hearing with Daw’s school bus company. Daw said he will get back pay and anything else he is entitled to from the time of termination to his reinstatement date and his record will be wiped clean.

“It’s been an emotional roller coaster. I’ve been reliving this thing,” Daw told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan. “I think it’s a victory for America. I don’t think anyone should have to second-guess helping first responders. That’s the message. It’s not a hero issue.”

It was one week ago Daw was unceremoniously booted from his job with Educational Bus Transportation for “violating company policy” when he rescued three stranded Nassau County police officers from their submerged vehicle during violent hailstorms and gave them a ride in his school bus back their precinct.

“Do I leave these three police officers, due to company policy?” Daw told McLogan. “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.”

He then went back to his home base in Copiague and filed an incident report. Soon after, 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.”

When fired, Daw said he was devastated that his union was silent. The three Nassau detectives and their commanding officer were flabbergasted by the firing.

“When a person is disciplined they have to file a grievance. George filed a grievance. I contacted the company and set up a hearing. It’s not that we didn’t back him. It’s that we had to follow the protocols as per the contract,” Troy Anderson of the United Service Workers Union explained.

All week Daw and his wife hoped for a call from his bus company. He cleaned his pool and waited for the phone to ring.

CBS 2 repeatedly went to the bus yard for an explanation.

“And CBS who started the ball rolling, I might add, I’m very grateful. And it’s a story that had to be told,” Daw said. “I’d do it again if I had to rescue these first responders and them maintaining their policy position.”

Daw will return to work on his regular route on Aug. 17, and his family will throw a farewell party for their two sons Saturday, off to study to become police and naval officers.

Do you think Daw did the right thing? Sound off below in our comments section…


One Comment

  1. Karen L says:

    Dear Karen Humphriss, if the roles were reversed I am sure the officers would have notified their base of their intentions and only then aided the person in need, that is exactly what George Daw should have done. Anything else would be unsafe and irresponsible.

    1. HUH says:

      That happens all the time a police officer drives by and sees a car accident or someone hurt and takes the time to ask the sarge is it ok if I help someone.Karen does the L stand for looney because you need more help than the cops did.

  2. dogstar says:

    Glad he got his job back. Now he should look for one with a better company.

    1. Emma Dolci says:

      No company in their right mind would willing hire someone who runs to the press everytime he doesn’t get his own way

      1. Say What?? says:

        You must be living in a cave….. He lost his job for saving others, it’s not that “he didn’t get his way”……… Jesus!

    2. Emma Dolci says:

      I dont think he lost his job because he helped the officers during a storm, my understanding is he lost his job because he did not tell his job about taking the unorthorized passengers on board. This company has done a lot for the people in their community and abroad, I read an article about how they donated a number of buses and goods to the Haiti relief. Do you really think the same company would then abandon local police officers. They want their drivers to follow the rules that protect my kid. I agree with them. Why didn’t Daw just call his company and also I want to know why he didn’t help the other people who asked for assistance/

      1. karlson says:

        In the heat of the moment, there is a tendency to not think of the “rules, procedures and protocols”. That hailstorm and flooding was Biblical and the driver did report it by filing a written report when he returned to his office. I can see the company not being pleased because they were not notified in real time. The only thing that makes sense is that the driver did not call in to report this as it happened. I’m sure he was wrapped up in whatever was going on. It could have been flooded roads and poor visibility and the drama of large hailstones (the size of tea cups) pelting the bus and all the cars and people in the area.

  3. SMH says:

    Wow! Fired for helping another community helper? Someone should really give this man a reward for his outstanding performance.

    1. Mark Colter says:

      everyone writes as if it was an ‘either or’ situation. Both helping some stranded officers and upholding company policy could have been easily achieved if Mr Daw had simply contacted his base. This way everyone would have been satisfied. I for one dont think they should have reinstated him.
      Also I heard that mr Daw refused 2 other people that asked for help – I wonder where his community spirit was then??

      1. sam says:

        Obviously you have never dealt with a bus company. The people who run these things are not geniuses. This guy made a decision in the heat of battle and saved lives. The child was unhurt and the driver maintained control. In this weather another bus would not have been dispatched. Also, no other media outlet had info on other stranded motorists who appealed to this driver. Where did you get your lead?

      2. mark colter says:

        My cousin knows the matron that was on board and that is what she reported.
        Maybe the media should approach her so we can get to the truth. Instead of what seems to be very misleading.
        Also no lives were at risk, if they were the officers would not have wanted to leave the scene. they would surely have wanted to stay and help the other stranded people.

  4. Takeanotherlook says:

    An Emergency Situation Calls For EMERGENCY ACTION, DaNg the Proticol & the policies.. Its AN EMERGENCY!!!

    Some Manager at the BUS COMPANY NEEDS to Be FIRED for being anal retentive…

  5. Uncommon Sense says:

    If this 16oz sausage in an 8oz wants to pick up strangers off the street, he should drive a gypsy cab on rockaway turnpike, no drive a special needs child school bus.

    1. JoeZ says:

      If you want to post comments, you should learn the proper use of the language.

    2. Mark Colter says:

      I absolutety agree with you, what an ass Daw is. That said a gypsy cab driver would have picked up the other 2 people that Daw refused so maybe that job is too good for him.

  6. Ateacher says:

    Any children watching leaned a valuable life lesson to help your fellow man.

    1. Emma Dolci says:

      What they learned was “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”
      Daw turned down the first 2 people that asked for help.

  7. Anne Hill says:

    i’m glad he helped the detective – the fact that he lost his job over it shows how non-thinking procedure is totally laughable

    1. Paul P says:

      he didn’t lose his job for helping the detectives, he lost it because he couldn’t be bothered notifying his boss.

  8. bullett says:

    Smart move by the bus company. If not, I’d say they would have been hit with a slew of violations from the Nassau police.

  9. Patty McInnes says:

    Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. In 1817, the 3 Revolutionary War soldiers who captured Major Andre and thereby foiled Benedict Arnold’s plot to betray American independence went to Congress and asked that their pensions be increased to adjust for rising living expenses. America was approaching its first economic crisis in 1819. A member of Congress spoke out against these men, condemning them as caring only about money and not their country. The veterans request was denied. Once more a good man is being punished for doing a good deed. George Daw is a hero in my book. He deserves his job and his honor restored to him.

  10. now what says:

    for the love of god…it’s NOT like he picked up a group of Catholic priests

    1. NO PRIESTS PLEASE says:

      hahahahaha GOOD ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Starbuck says:

      Why are you so angry?

    3. Bill says:

      That’s uncalled for you friggin’ MORON!!!!!

  11. Herb Adams says:

    I am a moderate independent – and I think the bus co came to a conclusion way too soon! They should have checked things out! Why would anyone get fired for helping 3 police officers who were stranded??? Get a life bus company!

  12. patheticpeopleareabundant says:

    I used to be amazed that George Bush Jr got relected in 2004 but with some of the moronic comments on here I now see how that happened. Id rather lose my job helping someone in need then pass them by because the rest of your life thinking you are a useless mutt who thinks of no one but yourself is much worse than checking help wanted ads for a few weeks.

    1. Self Hatred says:

      Pathetic? Moronic?
      Don’t be so hard on yourself, putz!

      1. patheticpeopleareabundant says:

        I rest my case your honor

    2. Paul P says:

      I dont think Mr Daw had to pick between the two options. All he had to do was notify his companyfirst and then help the officers. I think it is sad that everyone jumps to such rediculous conclusions based soley on the media reports, oh yeah, that are presented so fairly!!!

    3. William says:

      Boy, what a sh&t head you must be in person!!!!!

  13. Jason says:

    uh oh… …..The union is involved, if it’s the typical company LI schoolbus union out here, he’s lucky if he’s not given life??

  14. JK says:

    He should hae called dispatch and let them make the dicision. Since there was a child on board. The truth ios that it was a judgement call, but he should not have made it.

  15. Surfin Bird says:

    He does not deserve his job back. He violated protocol.

    1. atlantis7 says:

      Exactly…He violated work protocol by abandoning passengers on the bus and not notifying his boss his actions. End of story.
      The police officers could have ran for cover as many other civilians did and as
      Police are trained to do. I doubt the bus driver would have picked up any civilians in the same situation. Regardless if they said they were officers, he let 3 strangers on a school bus putting everyone else in jeopardy. He and the officers also abandoned other distressed people while he rushed to get to the precinct where the officers could dry off.
      The driver stated he hopes this teaches people a lesson. The lesson should be not to label him a hero, but thank his lucky stars and attorney he got his job back. Who in the world would trust this driver again in adverse weather?

  16. Seriously says:

    And what if these officers were just “PRETENDING” to be cops, b/c of course of yeah, THAT NEVER HAPPENS! He was paid to protect and transport a child, not to go picking up people b/c they didn’t have UMBRELLAS!!! He should be fired!

    1. HP says:

      Seriously, you are anti-police or something. He took them to the police station, idiot. Yeah, everything THREE MEN running New York pretending to be cops. Get some help.

      1. Ursula C says:

        Sure, easy to say because it turns out they were genuine detectives and no one was hurt. But if it had gone the other way would you all be on the fat slobs side then? I too would help someone who was stranded (including the 2 people Daw deemed not worthy of help) in a storm but not if my kid was in the car with me. Look at what happened in the shooting in Norway. That killer dressed up as an officer and people ran to him for help. Daw had no way of knowing if these plain clothed detectives in an unmarked car were detectives or terrorists.
        His actions were completely irrisponsible.

  17. Copyeditor says:

    Fire Him is an idiot. I wonder if the detectives showed identification before they got on the bus. Since the child was not harmed, the bus company overreacted and should give the driver his job back.

  18. Fire Him says:

    you have a kid with autism on the bus you are responsible for, you don’t let other people on the bus, I don’t care if they are cops.pedophiles come in all shapes, sizes, and occupations. he should just do his job and get the kid where he needs to be. they try to make it sound like these cops were stranded, drowning in quicksand in the mohave dessert, they were in the middle of nassau county for petes sake.

    1. karlson says:

      For Pete’s sake, huh? You obviously don’t live in Nassau County, and don’t know or read the news for that particular day as there was a severe hailstorm with hailstones the size of tea cups. Get a life or learn to inform yourself of the facts before you post your opinion. Car windows were blown out and the sheet metal on cars were gouged and severely damaged. This was accompanied by high winds and severe flooding. Yes, they were not in the Mohave Dessert as you stated but in Nassau County and in the midst of a storm that happens once in 20 or 30 years at best.

      And when police request assistance, you cannot turn them down. If you do, you suffer the consequences. You render assistance to the extent of your ability to do so. You sound like the type of person who would not assist someone who was drowning by at least throwing them a life preserver or a rope safety line even if you were on a boat and safe from drowning yourself.

      1. The Facts says:

        You must assist a police officer in New York State when requested by a police officer. You are in violation of the law if you refuse to do so. The person who fired the driver may not have been aware of this. Hopefully, the driver will be reinstated with back pay.

      2. Karen Humphriss says:

        Great reply and love The Facts.
        Stop and think if the situation was reverse and the bus driver needed help. Do you think in heart beat the police officers wouldn’t think twice, even if they were assigned to something else. People who don’t help people as too self-centered for me and my liking.

      3. Ursula C says:

        You should take your own advise and get yourself informed. Did you know that Daw turned down other people that asked for help? Did you know that all he had to do was inform the company of his actions and then he could have helped the detectives? Did you know that there was no rushing dangerous water at the particular time? The unmarked car was stuck in a puddle, the officers were at risk of getting wet and yes it was a half mile from the precinct.
        What you must know is that if this was a life threatening situation like it is being portayed those three detectives would have absolutely not asked for a ride, rather, they would have stayed and helped the other stranded people. It seems to me this story was spun in a sensational way to sell papers and spun well it was!

      4. William says:

        Sounds like Ursula was on the bus too….. another AUTHORITY on EVERYTHING!!

  19. karlson says:

    Where is the police department on this? They should be at the hearing given statements about how he saved them in an emergency.

    1. Sick of Non-Sense says:

      I agree…..if he didn’t help then he would have been told he didn’t do his civic duty. Give me a break leave the poor man alone

      1. Ursula c says:

        It is not black and white, he could have done both he just couldnt be bothered, just like he couldnt be bothered picking up the other 2 people that asked for his help. He was consumed with playing hero and neglected his primary responsibility. How about he radio his job first and them help the officer get shelter from the rain and be transported back to their department.
        Now that would have been Sense-ible

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