Hero Plumber Laid Off After Saving British Tourist Gets New Job
GOWANUS — The plumber laid off shortly after saving the life of a British tourist maimed by an out-of-control cab in Midtown this summer is back to work.
David Justino, 44, who tied a tourniquet around the severed leg of Sian Green to prevent her from bleeding to death after the Aug. 20 crash, began working for Gowanus-based plumbing company Franco Belli Plumbing and Heating and Sons this month.
"He's a great plumber, we're getting great reviews on him," said Paul Belli, owner of the plumbing company, who reached out to Justino after reading about his firing in the press. "I don't know why they let him go.
“It’s not right for good actions to be rewarded with such negative consequences.”
Belli, who earned his Eagle Scout badge with the now-defunct Troop 518, said he has great respect for Justino's use of his belt as a tourniquet.
"I trained to do stuff like that with the scouts, and he just did it," Belli said. "He knew he had to do something and did it."
On Sept. 24, Justino told DNAinfo New York that his previous employer — Bass Plumbing and Heating of College Point — let him go because of "lack of work."
But he suspects they did not like the publicity that came from his involvement, alongside celebrity physician Dr. Mehmet Oz, in saving Green, whose leg was severed by the cab.
Justino was taking a smoke break when he saw the cab smash into Green, severing her leg below the knee, he said.
He sprang into action, taking off his belt and tying off the severed limb to "stop the leak," he told DNAinfo at the time.
His actions were lauded around the world, and got him praise from NBC star Oz, who works nearby and was fast to the scene. The celebrity applauded Justino's "quick thinking and heroic actions."
Justino has been in contact with Green, who has since returned home to England, and said he wants to give her a big hug once she fully recovers from the accident.
Belli said he reached out to the Local 1 plumber's union and asked them for Justino's contact info. The two met and hit it off. Belli said Justino had other offers and he's glad he chose to work for him.
"It's hard to get people that think well on their feet," Belli said. "It's the MacGyver-type attitude that is the difference between a good plumber and a great plumber."
Bass Plumbing was not immediately available for comment.
For Justino, the new job couldn't have come at a better time.
He had been out of work for almost a month, with a mortgage to pay and a pet shop, which he operates in Yonkers, to pay for.
"I was born with good looks, not money," said Justino, whose been a plumber since he was 18.
"I needed to work. Thank God for Franco Belli, they're a hero's hero."