Update: Lifeguard Saves Man: Gets Fired For His Trouble

Update: Lifeguard Saves Man: Gets Fired For His Trouble

Miami : FL : USA | Jul 05, 2012 at 5:23 AM PDT
Views: Pending
LIfeguard Fired For Saving Man's Life

Update to article below: Tomas Lopez, not surprisingly, has been offered his lifeguard job back by Jeff Ellis Management. He told CNN on Thursday night that he does not want it back! "It's another chapter in my life closed and I am just going to continue to get my schooling finished and get on with my career," Lopez said. Jeff Ellis said, "Clearly he should not have been terminated for what has occurred. I know that he has tried to do the right thing." Three other lifeguards with the company quit in protest over the firing and two others were fired after saying that they would have done the same thing. Lifeguard Travis Madris told CNN that "they told us we were liabilities and that we had to be let go." Jeff Ellis told CNN that the company has offeed to take back those that were let go. The last word goes to Tomas Lopez. "I have no doubts I did the right thing. I believe I did what was right, and if someone needs your help, you're going to go help them regardless if you're a lifeguard or not."

On Monday, twenty-one year old Tomas Lopez was a lifeguard at Hallandale Beach in south Florida. On Monday, Tomas Lopez saved a man's life. On Monday, Tomas Lopez was fired from his job as a lifeguard. Strange? Here's his story.

A person on the beach ran to tell the lifeguard that he saw a man in the water who was in trouble. Without hesitation, Lopez sprinted into the water and swam out to the man who was clearly struggling. "He was having a lot of trouble breathing," Tomas said. The lifeguard brought the man ashore and paramedics whisked him to the hospital where he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

As is usually the case in these types of situations, Tomas was told by his supervisor, Susan Ellis, to fill out an incident report. "At that point I knew I was going to be fired. I knew I had broken the rule," the lifeguard said. Hold on a minute! What rule? Well, the company, Jeff Ellis Management, has a rule that the lifeguard cannot go out of the company's "protection zone"...at which point swimmers are out there at their own risk. There are signs posted to that effect. Lopez went on to say, "In those cases we are supposed to call 911 and hope they get there in time." The company supervisor said that the lifeguard was fired for violating company policy. "What he did was his own decision. He knew the company rules and did what he thought he needed to do." Yes, he saved a man's life and he lost his job because of it.

Executives of Jeff Ellis Management, the company that fired Lopez, is now reviewing whether or not the firing was justified. "If we find our actions on the part of the leadership team were inappropriate, we will rectify it based upon the information that comes forward."

Two other lifeguards have quit their jobs to protest the firing. Jeff Ellis says, "we are not a fire-rescue operation. We are strictly a lifeguard operation. We limit what we do to the protected swimming zones that we've agreed to service." Well, we can think of one man who is probably happy that one lifeguard took it upon himself to bend the rules. On the bright side, the lifeguard's phone has been ringiug off the hook. I'm pretty sure that Tomas Lopez won't be out of work for very long.

News Sources: www.wptv.com and www.cnn.com

1 of 5
Tomas Lopez was fired after saving a man's life while working as a lifeguard at Hallandale Beach
LesMac is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear

News Stories

  • US lifeguard fired for saving man

    Florida lifeguard fired for helping drowning man Mr Lopez ran some distance out of his patrol area to help the swimmer on an unprotected stretch of beach A lifeguard who left his section of a Florida beach to help save a man from drowning has been...
  • Lifeguard fired for saving drowning man

    Just let the guy drown?" asked former lifeguard Tomas Lopez about the incident. (CNN) -- Tomas Lopez says he never thought getting fired would make him so popular. But since his controversial firing Monday, the 21-year-old former lifeguard from...
  • Lifeguard Fired for Attempting to Rescue Drowning Man [Rescues]

    Every lifeguard wants to be a hero, but you can't just go around saving people willy-nilly. Tomas Lopez learned that the hard way when he got fired for trying to save someone outside of his jurisdiction. The 21-year-old lifeguard was working on...
  • Hallandale Beach lifeguard's firing prompts outcry, review

      Sun Sentinel
    Executives of an aquatics company will review whether the firm was justified in firing a Hallandale Beach lifeguard earlier this week for leaving his zone to help rescue a nearby swimmer. The dismissal prompted a media firestorm and an outpouring of...
  • Lifeguard in Florida fired after saving drowning man

    Florida has lost his job after rescuing a drowning man in a section of beach he was not assigned to patrol, local news media reported Wednesday. Tomas Lopez, 21, was manning his post on Hallandale Beach, north of Miami, on Monday afternoon when a...
  • Lifeguard Fired in Florida for Saving a Life

    But instead of earning praise from his employer, Tomas Lopez got a pink slip. "It was the moral thing to do. I would never pick a job over my morals," Lopez, 21, told South Florida's Sun-Sentinel after he went outside his beach's protected area to...





More From Allvoices

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report

Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.