School Bus Driver: I Was Fired for Helping Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Long Island bus driver says he helped people in need -- and then lost his job. George Daw picked up distressed police officers in the hailstorm last week, and that decision proved costly. (Published Tuesday, Aug 9, 2011)

    A school bus driver on Long Island is fighting to regain his job after being fired last week for being a Good Samaritan, apparently against company policy.

    George Daw claimed he was terminated because he helped three Nassau County police detectives during last Monday's hail and rain storm.

    "I felt this was something anyone would do under the circumstances," said Daw, 58.

    Daw was driving a mini-bus carrying a teenage passenger and a bus matron last Monday as golf ball-size hail and torrential rain pelted New Hyde Park. On Hillside Avenue, Daw came upon on a stalled unmarked police car carrying detectives, according to Detective Lt. Raymond Cote. The car had been filling with water.

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

    Daw did just that, pushing through the flood waters to pick up the detectives and deliver them to their precinct.

    "I felt they were in danger," explained Daw.

    Daw's employer, Educational Bus Transport of Copiague, didn't agree.

    After Daw filed a report about what happened, he was terminated from his job of nine months.

    Company paperwork supplied by Daw showed he was fired in part because he violated policy prohibiting drivers from picking up unscheduled passengers.

    "We have policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of the children we transport," responded the bus company's vice-president, Tim Flood. 

    "When these policies and procedures are not followed, we will address them in an appropriate manner," Flood continued. "This particular employee was not terminated solely because of the pick-up of unscheduled passengers."

    Flood would not elaborate further.

    When asked if Daw's actions endangered his passengers, Detective Lt. Cote said, "No."

    "It's sad when we hear his good deed cost him his job," Cote added.