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Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life 

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Old 07-05-2012, 10:10 PM
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Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

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A Florida lifeguard who was fired for leaving his patrol zone to rescue a man drowning was offered his job back Thursday, NBCMiami.com reported.

But, lifeguard, Tomas Lopez, told NBCMiami.com that he would not be accepting the offer.

The company that fired Lopez, Jeff Ellis Management, was hired by the City of Hallandale to provide lifeguards for the city's beach and pools, the Sun Sentinel reported.

Lopez, who became a lifeguard four months ago, was fired when he violated company policy Monday, NBCMiami.com reported. Lopez went into waters outside the lifeguard zone the company is paid to patrol after a beachgoer told him someone was drowning.

A sign separating the zones warns everyone to swim at their own risk.

Company officials told the Sentinel that beachgoers in Lopez's zone were put in jeopardy when he left the area.

"I was on stand, and guests came up to me and told me there was someone drowning, that people were screaming and so I started running in the direction," Lopez told NBCMiami.

NBCMiami.com reported that a manager told Lopez to call 911 instead. Lopez said he couldn't just sit back and do nothing while the man was in trouble.

By the time he arrived, the man had been pulled out the water by other beachgoers, but he assisted in treating the victim.

After filing an incident report, Lopez was fired, the Sentinel reported.

"They didn't tell me in a bad way. It was more like they were sorry, but rules are rules," Lopez said. "I couldn't believe what was happening."

Several coworkers said they quit in protest.

"On radio I heard Tommy saying, 'I'm going for a rescue but it’s out of our zone,' said Kalok Geng, a coworker who quit.

Company president Jeff Ellis, said that one employee was fired and three had resigned.

Ellis told the station previously that an investigation would be conducted.

"If he was well-intentioned and tried to do what he believed was the right thing, even if he deviated from policy, I'm not sure termination was the right thing to do," Ellis said in a statement.

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City officials felt the situation called for Lopez to go and help the man in trouble.

"The city's position is if there's an actual emergency, the lifeguard should assist instead of waiting for a perceived emergency," Hallandale Beach spokesman Peter Dobens told NBCMiami.com.

*This guy took his job title seriously! Rulese are rules, but, sometimes, they have to be bended. I think this is one such instance.

I had a similar situation with a car accident when I was a teenager. A guy hit me and two cars pulled over the drunk at a gas station. The Police who arrive couldn't do anything because the on which I was hit was one street into another district. They didn't even call the correct district!*

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Old 07-05-2012, 10:48 PM
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Re: Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

although the swimmer was stupid for swimming outside the safe zone, that lifeguard did the right thing and if anything, should be rewarded. A human life is far more important than some company rules. Fuck that company.

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Old 07-05-2012, 10:56 PM
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Re: Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

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Originally Posted by Flaka View Post
although the swimmer was stupid for swimming outside the safe zone, that lifeguard did the right thing and if anything, should be rewarded. A human life is far more important than some company rules. Fuck that company.
im sure if it hadnt recieved so much media attention, the companys president wouldnt be doing shit right now

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Old 07-05-2012, 11:01 PM
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Re: Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

I agree.

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Old 07-06-2012, 12:50 AM
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Re: Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

When I first saw it on the news, the first thought it my head was, "Did I miss something here or not hear correctly? Lifeguard fired for saving life?"

Lifeguard = guard life

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:31 AM
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Re: Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

They should get a lifeguard for that other zone.

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Old 07-06-2012, 05:49 AM
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Re: Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

I feel like the purpose of those zones should be to prevent litigation by swimmers, not to discipline lifeguards

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Old 07-06-2012, 09:43 AM
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Re: Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

Wtf. I would actually smack the firer in the face.

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Old 07-06-2012, 09:59 PM
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Re: Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

the media is reporting that the company realized it's (stupid) mistake, and re-hired him!

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Old 07-07-2012, 12:13 AM
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Re: Lifeguard Fired For Attempting to Save a Life

Yeah. Re-hired him because shit hit the fan and the story went viral

Were they really expecting him to ignore a drowning person

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