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Florida Lifeguard Fired for Trying to Save Drowning Man Outside of His Zone

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posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 09:29 PM
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A Florida lifeguard has been booted from his lifeguard chair for running to save a man who was floundering in the surf.

Tomas Lopez , 21, was fired by his supervisor for vacating his lifeguarding zone to save a man drowning in an unprotected area of the beach in Hallandale Beach, Fla., on Monday, reports the Sun Sentinel.

Lopez' employer is not paid to patrol the zone where the man had been in trouble.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Lopez was approached by a beachgoer who pointed out a man struggling in the water nearly 1,500 feet south of his post.
Instinctively, he ran down the beach to save him. By the time Lopez got to him, he had been pulled to shore by fellow beachgoers.

Following his rescue attempt, Lopez was let go for leaving the area he was supposed to be covering.
Jeff Ellis and Associates, a private aquatic safety contractor, is hired by the city to patrol the beaches. The company is also in charge of hiring and training the city's lifeguards.

Susan Ellis, spokeswoman for Jeff Ellis and Associates, told the Sun Sentinel that Lopez broke company rules when he left his zone, and cited "liability issues" that may have occurred as a result of Lopez leaving his designated area.

Ellis could not be reached for further comment.


news.yahoo.com...

This is absolutely ridiculous! Are contracts so black and white these days? Has the US's litigious society trumped common sense and value for human life?

I'm sure the company and their lawyers would argue, "Say if you injured that man while attempting to rescue him, he could have sued, or what if someone who needed you on the beach we are paying you to protect needed you and you abandoned your post." (blah blah blah)



So what? Lopez is a lifeguard and he's trained and evidently has a want to save lives at the risk of losing his own! I don't see anything wrong at all with Lopez's decision to go rescue the distressed swimmer, and the company should have some compassion and read between the lines of a contract.
edit on 4-7-2012 by majesticgent because: formatting issues with external content

edit on 4-7-2012 by majesticgent because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 09:40 PM
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Well if someone needed help and was drowning in his area while he was gone, they would lose a lawsuit and have to pay a lot of money. So it makes sense although the chances of that happening are very low..



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 09:41 PM
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Has the US's litigious society trumped common sense and value for human life?


Yes.

I wouldn't be able to look at myself if I hadn't done the same thing in that mans shoes. If anything the young man should have been promoted. The company is now facing a nightmare of public outcry, and if they had stood behind him they would have had some wonderful publicity.

I get the issue. Leaving his post endangered swimmers in that area. Fine. He should have a responsibility to people in his area first, but if everything is hunky dory and you have the ability to save a life, you have an obligation.

I posted a video awhile back of a little girl in China getting run over by multiple vehicles, with I believe 15 or more people walking by and not getting involved. For fear that if they helped the child they would be financially responsible. I don't want to see the US like that.

I'm real proud of this young man. I have a feeling he will go far in life, and I would love to see that company drown.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by Turq1
 


I see your point and I get it, but still... What should he have done, let the guy possibly die?

Perhaps the company should hire two lifeguards post, then that way another lifeguard would be available to assist swimmers while the other lifeguard is saving someone.

I mean the same logic and argument could be applied to if he was saving another swimmer in his patrol zone and another swimmer drowned while he away from his post.

Two lifeguards per post would solve that problem, but I'm sure that cut into profits too much for either the contractor and/or contractee.
edit on 4-7-2012 by majesticgent because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:06 PM
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Can someone give me a break? Really? The guy was running to save someone's life and this is the thanks he gets for his trouble?? Are you kidding me?

What a grand litigious society we live in. We are too stupid to not spill hot coffee on ourselves, we were warned.... but alas... we failed to listen, got our little thighs whelped up, and became wealthy in the meantime.


The guy gets fired because someone "might have" needed him and he was a tad busy going to try and save someone outside of his posted territory. We are hurting folks by trying to head off ignorance at the pass and it just isn't going to happen!

Find a way to put an end to these get rich quick, litigious scumbags and some of this other asinine behavior will cease. This guy will have NO PROBLEM finding another employer. There are still folks out there looking for good, loyal, faithful, honorable, employees, who can do more than what the manual tells them to do.

This is ridiculous.

ETA... What would the headline have read if the guy never bothered to leave his chair and the other guy drowned I wonder?
edit on 7/4/2012 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:10 PM
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Heh and if he would have let the man drown, he would have been taken to court for murder assist or something like that. Seriously. The company is idiotic imo. "We only pay you to save lives in this area only. Any where else and you lose your job."

Disgusting on all levels.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:17 PM
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If it would have been a politician on the other side, he would still get fired for not saving that man!
Lose:Lose situation!

I get that he left his post and someone else "could" have potentially drowned while he was away from it, but do you really want him to just sit back and watch another human being drown right before his eyes?

Those who answered YES to the above, how would you feel if that drowning man he tried to save was you, would you thank him or tell him that he should have let you died?
edit on 4-7-2012 by TheEnlightenedOne because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:23 PM
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Wow. On Sunday my 7 yrs old was drowning right behind me. As I was assisting my 3 youngest out of the pool. ( I feel like a crap mom already, no need to judge.) I didn't realize we we're that far out.

Life gaurd literally busted his arse getting down to my son and didn't miss a beat. Kept going for my son. Thankfully my son was fine.

Now imagine my son wasn't in the lifeguards!"zone"... scares the hell out of me.

We need more people like the guy who got fired.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by showintail
 


Touching story. Glad your son was OK. I think it takes a special sort to become a lifeguard in the first place.

The kind of people that wouldn't worry about a made up border in order to save a life.

I hope a lifeguard on ATS stumbles upon this thread and leaves their comment about the story.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:29 PM
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The story gets worse -


Six Florida lifeguards have lost their jobs for backing a coworker's decision to save a man struggling in the surf but outside their jurisdiction.

Six of Lopez's coworkers said they would have done the same thing. And now, they've been fired too.

What the heck kind of town is this?

abcnews.go.com...
edit on 4-7-2012 by Maluhia because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by majesticgent
reply to post by showintail
 


Touching story. Glad your son was OK. I think it takes a special sort to become a lifeguard in the first place.

The kind of people that wouldn't worry about a made up border in order to save a life.

I hope a lifeguard on ATS stumbles upon this thread and leaves their comment about the story.


I was actually thinking along those same lines earlier. Anyone who takes a job in the "life saving" field would not have been able to stay in that chair regardless of the ramifications. They take these jobs to save whoever they possibly can, not only those in certain areas etc. I would not want a life guard in my employ or watching over me/my family that could just sit in his/her chair and watch someone drown because that "zone" was not in his contract.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by Maluhia
The story gets worse -


Six Florida lifeguards have lost their jobs for backing a coworker's decision to save a man struggling in the surf but outside their jurisdiction.

Six of Lopez's coworkers said they would have done the same thing. And now, they've been fired too.

What the heck kind of town is this?

abcnews.go.com...


Soon to be a town without lifeguards apparently. This is disgusting really. I don't even know what else to say about it.

I hope the folks in that town rally behind these guys BIG TIME! He did what was right...his coworkers know it. The townspeople should make sure that the employer knows it as well.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:37 PM
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reply to post by Maluhia
 


I'm not surprised. I guess they'll start developing drone lifeguards that obey commands and don't have the ability to think reasonably or logically and lack compassion.



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by majesticgent
reply to post by Turq1
 


I see your point and I get it, but still... What should he have done, let the guy possibly die?

Perhaps the company should hire two lifeguards post, then that way another lifeguard would be available to assist swimmers while the other lifeguard is saving someone.

I mean the same logic and argument could be applied to if he was saving another swimmer in his patrol zone and another swimmer drowned while he away from his post.

Two lifeguards per post would solve that problem, but I'm sure that cut into profits too much for either the contractor and/or contractee.


I'm sure they do have more than one lifeguard post, the beach near me has probably 1 lifeguard every 50-75 ft of beach. The problem with that idea is that even if a second lifeguard could cover two areas, if someone drown they'd say the extra time needed to get to the person caused the person to drown.

If 2 swimmers drown at the same time in the same zone and you could only save one, from a legal perspective nothing might have gone "wrong". Things can go wrong but as long as you have your legal bases covered it doesn't really matter.
edit on 7/4/2012 by Turq1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:04 PM
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reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe
 


I wouldn't say "no problem", wouldn't say it would be a problem either, but if you take a "liberty" that will potentially bankrupt your employer, that would be a problem.

And if a relative did somehow manage to drown while that guy was away, who here wouldn't sue (not asking rhetorically) and get that free money? It'd be a very easy case.
edit on 7/4/2012 by Turq1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2012 @ 11:10 PM
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Originally posted by Turq1
reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe
 


I wouldn't say "no problem", wouldn't say it would be a problem either, but if you take a "liberty" that will potentially bankrupt your employer, that would be a problem.

And if a relative did somehow manage to drown while that guy was away, who here wouldn't sue (not asking rhetorically) and get that free money? It'd be a very easy case.
edit on 7/4/2012 by Turq1 because: (no reason given)


There are a lot of folks that don't sue. I can tell you in all honesty that I would not have sued had it been me. I don't go to the beach, lake, pool, etc. expecting anyone else to keep me safe. I actually can't even swim, so I am extra careful not to get into a position that endangers me or others. I think it should be everyone's own personal responsibility to take care of themselves while in the water. Lifeguards are awesome and have saved many lives. I love and respect them for it but it should be a benefit not a guarantee. That's JMHO though. I know others who feel differently,



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 12:51 AM
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Someone should start a petition for this guy at change . org

Theres was that one guy who stopped a man beating a pregnant women who got fired, the petition got him his job back.

could work for this person.

Saving a human life should result in praise, not the unemployment line.
edit on 5-7-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 03:04 AM
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I just want to say that I'm not surprised.

We're talking about a state that doesn't allow the feeding of the homeless (or on them! too soon?).

I don't mean to laugh or to be obnoxious in any way. I just really had to say, we're talking about Florida here. Hello.



posted on Jul, 5 2012 @ 06:26 AM
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Originally posted by Turq1
reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe
 


I wouldn't say "no problem", wouldn't say it would be a problem either, but if you take a "liberty" that will potentially bankrupt your employer, that would be a problem.

And if a relative did somehow manage to drown while that guy was away, who here wouldn't sue (not asking rhetorically) and get that free money? It'd be a very easy case.
edit on 7/4/2012 by Turq1 because: (no reason given)


hmmm

Maybe the private sector actually can't do some things better than the community itself can. That lifeguard got fired for helping someone who was just outside of the contracted area that the company he worked for was getting paid to patrol. Legally and logically, it's a very easy case. What's not so easy is determining how a normal, rational society is supposed to protect and serve its members. This is why they don't privatize the police force...yet.

Imagine a private contractor cop being unable to rescue you from a mugging or even a murder because your neighborhood hadn't wanted to renew the contract with the company supplying the police protection because they'd hiked their service fees. He could legally watch you die and get robbed from his car while he eats donuts because your neighborhood homeowners committee refused to knuckle under to the company's rate increase, and your loved ones wouldn't be able to do anything about it except crybaby in front of the new cameras afterward.

This is what privatization is all about. It sucks if a society takes it to its logical conclusion.




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