Florida Lifeguard Fired For Rescue Outside Beach Zone - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Florida Lifeguard Fired For Rescue Outside Beach Zone

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Tomas Lopez, seen here in this undated photo, was fired from his job as a lifeguard after saving a drowning man outside of the zone his company was hired to watch. Tomas Lopez, seen here in this undated photo, was fired from his job as a lifeguard after saving a drowning man outside of the zone his company was hired to watch.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla.- A Florida lifeguard was fired after he saved a drowning man.

Instead of being hailed a hero by his bosses, he lost his job. It's a story that's sparked shock and outrage.

Tommy Lopez, 21, said he knew he violated company policy when he rescued the drowning man.

The privately-run lifeguard company prohibits guards from leaving their station to help a swimmer in distress.

"I went over, and did what I had to do, because someone else's life was at stake," Lopez said.

The drowning man was outside the protected area, meaning Lopez wasn't allowed to help. When Lopez went outside the protected area, he was fired for breaking the rules.

"We have liability issues, and can't go out of the protected are," said a spokesperson for lifeguard contractor Jeff Ellis Management.

The rule not only got Lopez fired, but sparked a mutiny.

Lopez' fellow lifeguards left in masses, seven of them in disgust.

"What we're basically supposed to do is watch them die," said a fellow lifeguard.

"I'm glad I can separate myself from this. I knew if the event ever came up, I would go," said Brian Ritchie who quite his job over a policy he said he knew he'd break.

 

 

 

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