Lifeguard fired after helping save drowning man

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(AP) – Lifeguard Tomas Lopez helped save a drowning man and got fired for it. The reason: He left the section of a south Florida beach his company is paid to patrol. The Orlando-based company, Jeff Ellis and Associates, says Lopez broke a company rule and could have put beachgoers in his section in jeopardy.

The Sun Sentinel reported Lopez was on duty Monday at Hallandale Beach when a beachgoer asked for help. Lopez said he ran to assist a man struggling in the water south of his post. By the time Lopez arrived, witnesses had pulled the drowning man out of the water. Lopez and an off-duty nurse helped him until paramedics arrived. The victim survived and was hospitalized.

Afterward, Lopez was fired. Two other lifeguards have quit in protest.

UPDATE:

The lifeguard has been offered his job back, but he says no thanks.

Jeff Ellis, head of a company that provides lifeguards at Hallandale Beach, said Thursday Lopez should never have been fired. But Lopez says he’s not interested in taking the job back.

 

 

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