Florida Lifeguard Gets Fired For Saving a Man’s Life
There’s plenty of reasons to fire a person; they’re unproductive, their department is getting cut back, they did something to tick the boss off, and so on. But who ever though you could get fired just for doing your job?
That’s exactly what happened in Florida, where lifeguard Tomas Lopez was fired after saving a man from drowning. The reason for his firing? The man who was rescued was outside the area the lifeguards were paid to guard.
Lopez was fired Monday after he was summoned to help a man who had been struggling in the water south of his station. The man had been at an “unprotected” stretch of the beach, where visitors are warned to swim at their own risk, city officials said.
Compelled to help, Lopez said he ran a considerable distance, arriving to find that several witnesses had pulled the man, a 21-year-old from Estonia, out of the ocean. Lopez and an off-duty nurse tended to the victim until paramedics arrived. The victim was reported in good condition Wednesday at Aventura Hospital.
Company officials said the rescue occurred about 1,500 feet south of the firm’s boundaries.
Two other lifeguards quit in protest of Lopez’s firing.
The incident is now under review by both the city and Jeff Ellis Management, the company providing the lifeguards.
Now normally, breaking company policy would be a valid reason to get fired. But if you got a guy drowning just a few yards away from you, company policy is the least of your concerns. This lifeguard should be applauded for doing his job and responding to someone in need, not fired just because he went outside his “zone.”