Bus Driver, George Daw, Fired For Saving 3 Police Officers -- Gets Job Back!

Update: On Aug. 12, AOL Jobs received an e-mail from the Educational Bus Company saying George Daw has been reinstated. After noting that Daw had been officially warned for not having reported the incident, Educational Bus went on to say the following: "Educational Bus Transportation applauds Mr. Daw's instincts to come to the aid of the three Nassau County Police detectives after they were stranded when their unmarked vehicle became partially submerged in a deep puddle during a violent thunderstorm."




Are we really proud of the George Daw precedent?

The New York state bus driver was fired Monday because he "endangered welfare of students he was transporting when he picked up three unauthorized passengers," according to the Educational Bus Company on Long Island. But as transgressive as that statement makes Daw's actions sound, what in fact happened was what would commonly be described as either an act of heroism or at the least a Good Samaritan in action. What Daw did was rescue three police officers who were stranded in a hailstorm on Aug. 1.

"I felt this was something anyone would do under the circumstances," said Daw, 58, according to an NBC News report. The incident took place in New Hyde Park, just south of the Long Island Expressway. The passengers in Daw's bus included a teenager and a bus matron. As he passed through the park, Daw noticed the unmarked police car flooding, with three passengers inside.

"They're saying, 'You've got to help us, you've got to help us,' " Daw told NBC. " 'You've got to get us to the third precinct. We're police officers.' "

So he took their cue, and brought the officers to their precinct. By the time he returned to his headquarters in Copiague, located in Long Island's Nassau County, he was given his dismissal notice.

Laws protecting Good Samaritans can come in a variety of forms. New York state passed a version in July that prohibited arresting someone on a drug possession charge if that person was contacting police to help an overdose victim. Most commonly, the laws protect bystanders who come to the aid of an emergency but run the risk of contributing to injuries or a wrongful death. Indeed, New York is one state that has such a protective statute for licensed dentists, physicians, nurses, physicians and physical therapists.

But in a case like Daw's, the decision ultimately rests with his employer. New York state does have established wrongful termination laws, and Daw says that he is hoping to be reinstated. But he also says that he holds out little hope. When approached for comment about the incident by CBS News, Educational Bus had no comment.

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Dan Fastenberg

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Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

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button2cute

I do not understand why the police officers did not come to his rescue...by standing up for him to his employer and protecting him as he came to their aid. This is the reason the relationship of law enforcers and the community is not strong in the USA. We need to start building and respecting each other by acknowledging the positive acts among each other. This is example reveals the bus driver helping the law enforcer and alledgy the lawenforcers not returning the favor. Poor communication and lack of character on the law enforcement...according to the article written by a reporter.....

February 27 2013 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tony

If they were driving a proper car, 1 that is fully marked, there would be no problems like this. What these cops were doing is called identity theft. Identity theft is ILLEGAL. I, as a tax payer, DOES NOT approve of unmarked cars, I pays for marked cars, so cops, USE THEM. Also, wear a uniform. If you are a cop that means that I, a tax payer has bought that uniform , and everything else that you use, for you. I also pay all you`re wages, overtime, retirement, benefits, you`re party's. You work for ME, I am the employer. Get that uniform on & get in that marked car. & learn to drive too.

May 24 2012 at 4:05 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to tony's comment
cdpflanzer

He should sue his boss and get lots of money out of it!

September 05 2011 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lynda Trejo

I agree wholeheartidly with Migdawn. I am and have been a California school-bus-driver for the past 30+ years and you would be right about the CA law. However there are extenuating circumstances out there as well. Personally, I more than likely would have called dispatch to call the department and rescue their own, unless of course it was a life or death situation. Unfortunately the world in which we live in is a scary place in which to live and trusting a stranger or in this case strangers word just doesn't make sense to me. I would err on the side of caution and remember that my job is to protect the safety of life's most precious cargo....Our Children!

August 23 2011 at 8:39 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Denise

Idiot employers!

August 22 2011 at 10:22 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Grandma60

Doesn't NY have any laws regarding police commandeering a vehicle in an emergency? The man should not only have been hired back, he should have been given all pay lost. The 3 policemen basically commandeered the bus to get back to their precinct. However, I agree - they should have radioed it in and had a wrecker come for the car as well as another car sent for them. But, that's on the policemen, if he had left them stranded there he would have probably gotten into trouble for that too!

August 19 2011 at 9:19 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
crazycon

Why didn't he just help them to safety.And why did the police sort of intimidate the bus driver to bring them to the police station.They should have called for a police cruiser to pick them up.

August 18 2011 at 10:32 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
lm_in_az

One final thought. If the people he picked up were actually police officers and Mr. Daws did the right thing (by whatever measuring stick you wish you use) then why the NEED to go to the media to whine about not being recognized as a hero and about being fired? Why didn't he go to the police and ask for a report to be made to his bosses to explain that they had commandeered his bus? If there is a law that required him to follow their orders to take them to their precinct then a simple phone call from the police to his bosses might have kept him from losing his job. Or does he have the tendency to behave knee-jerk style, perhaps even having stopped to help during the hail storm without really thinking?
As for him getting his job back. That DOES NOT prove he is a hero or that his employers did anything wrong by firing him in the first place. I can think of any number of reasons he was fired and plenty of reasons they re-hired him. There are too many unknowns that have not and probably never will come out.

August 15 2011 at 6:45 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lm_in_az's comment
PRC

The police can't commander a public vehicle unless it is a life or death situation. Why did they drive a vehicle into a large puddle of water, anybody with any sense knows not to do that. He should of and did safetly get them out of there vehicle, but i believ e that is wheere is obligation ended. In todays age of criminals anybody that wants to get a fake NYC police badge can, just because someone flashes a badge at you, shows a gun or tells you they are a police officer doesn't necessary mean it is true. He did endanger his life as well as everyone on the bus for letting people on there that was not authorized.

August 21 2011 at 10:59 AM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PRC's comment
tony

Mark all cop cars, & put uniforms on all cops, simple now aint it. Identity theft @ it`s finest.

May 24 2012 at 4:08 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down
lm_in_az

@Dalanca: Just what I've been saying! He did NOT KNOW he was stopping for cops.
By the way, so far as I know, to this day, there has been no proof that they actually were cops. I have not seen any reports coming out of the police department explaining what happened. It seems all the media frenzy and everyone's sympathy towards Mr. Daw is based SOLELY on his own self-aggrandizing reports about his heroism. When you watch his performance on TV he boasts and boasts and compares himself to other heroes and he actually talks about how he expected to be considered a hero. That's not a real hero talking but a sad, little man looking for his final hurrah, his final fifteen minutes of fame.

August 15 2011 at 6:27 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
lm_in_az

Per Mr. Daw's own report, the officers were in UNMARKED POLICE CAR and were DETECTIVES. He could not have known they were police until AFTER HE STOPPED for STRANGERS and put himself and his passengers in a potentially dangerous situation. What if the cops had not been cops but rather escaped convicts? Also, his quotation of what the cops "said" does not sound correct. "You have to help us. You have to help us. We're police." ???? Police I.D. themselves FIRST and THEN issue orders. He makes them sound like panicked idiots and himself like a hero. Which, IMHO, is the real reason he stopped, to be a hero, not to help police officers.

August 15 2011 at 6:00 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply

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