Gary Catapano

last updated 11/5/2017

Gary J. Catapano

Senior Vice President, Safety at Student

1111 International Blvd Suite 700, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
HQ Phone:
(800) 563-6072

General Information


Senior Vice President, Safety - FirstGroup America

Senior Vice President Safety - FirstGroup plc


Advisory Board Member - American Sleep Apnea Association

Member of the Board of Delegates - National Safety Council

Member of NSTA's Behalf - Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee

Chair of the Safety and Security Committee - National School Transportation Association

Member - National Association for Pupil Transportation

Member of the Steering Committee - National Congress on School Transportation

Member - American Nuclear Society

Representative - American Trucking Associations Inc

Member of Government Relations Committee - National Science Teachers Association

NSC Representative - 16th NCST

Member - New York State Delegation

Recent News  

Leadership Team | First Student

Gary Catapano - Senior Vice President, Safety
Gary Catapano Senior Vice President, Safety Senior Vice President of Safety Gary Catapano joined First Group and First Student in late 2004. His Shared Services accountabilities include serving as chair of FirstGroup America's Safety Council, which conducts thorough safety reviews for all FirstGroup America divisions. Gary also leads division-wide and field-level management of safety for First Student. Gary has worked for 25 years as a transportation safety professional, holding senior executive positions for school and transit transportation companies. Prior to his career in school transportation, he worked for 15 years as a consulting engineer in the nuclear power industry helping to develop emergency plans and onsite safety response protocols at four nuclear power stations. Gary serves as a member of the National Safety Council's Board of Delegates and formerly chaired its Transportation Safety Division and School Transportation sections. He currently serves as chair of the Safety and Security Committee for the National School Transportation Association (NSTA) and is a member of the National Association of Pupil Transportation (NAPT). In 2011, the National Safety Council presented Gary with its Distinguished Service to Safety Award, the highest NSC honor given to an individual safety professional. In 2010, he received the Golden Merit Award and in 2015 the Distinguished Service Award from the NSTA for service to school transportation operations and furthering safety on a national level. Gary has authored many technical papers and manuals on school bus safety as well as co-authored a book on wheelchair transportation. Because of his expertise, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) selected him to serve on their Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, where he serves as the school bus industry's representative, he currently is serving his third term. He also is a member of the steering committee for the National Congress on School Transportation, a position he has held for the last 17 years. Gary holds a commercial driver's license and has completed thousands of hours of specialized safety training in subjects ranging from safety event and collision investigations to human factors and human performance. He is also holds certifications to both teach and coach the applications of behavioral psychology to safety and more particular leadership.

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First Student Urges Motorists to Give the School Bus a "Brake" During School Bus Safety Week, October 22-26

"Riding the school bus is 13 times safer than traveling in a passenger vehicle, and we urge motorists to avoid distractions and remain alert while sharing the road with school buses," said Gary Catapano, senior vice president, First Student Safety.

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First Student Completes Safest Year Ever

"There are more than 1 billion boarding opportunities each year on First Student school buses," said Gary Catapano, senior vice president, First Student Safety.
"Our most recent safety statistics show that passengers are safer than ever when they board one of our school buses." First Student traveled more than 250,385 miles between preventable collisions in fiscal year 2011 - 2012, and the chance for injury on or around a school bus was 1 in 7,690,000 million miles driven. The chance of a student left unattended on a school bus was 1 in 100,000,000 over the last year, which shows the increased awareness and diligence by drivers and staff to check each bus before exiting. "We are very proud of our drivers, attendants and technicians who worked to reduce our incident numbers so dramatically," said Gary Catapano, senior vice president, First Student Safety.

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