Lifeguard fired for saving drowning man

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
78,635
27,395
898
Seattle
#1
You thought I was being clever, weren't you? Nope.


Hallandale Beach lifeguard fired after participating in beach rescue

By Ihosvani Rodriguez, Sun Sentinel 7:13 p.m. EDT, July 3, 2012

HALLANDALE BEACH—
As lifeguards are paid and trained to do, Tomas Lopez rushed down the beach to rescue a drowning man — and then got fired for it.
The problem: Lopez stepped out of the beach zone his company is paid to patrol, a supervisor said Tuesday.

"I ran out to do the job I was trained to do," said Lopez, 21, of Davie. "I didn't think about it at all."

At least two other lifeguards have quit in protest.
"What was he supposed to do? Watch a man drown?" asked one, Szilard Janko.
Lifeguards in Hallandale Beach work for Orlando-based company Jeff Ellis and Associates, which has been providing lifeguard services for the city's beaches and pools since 2003.
Company officials on Tuesday said Lopez broke a rule that could've put beachgoers in his designated area in jeopardy. The firm could ultimately have been sued, officials said.
"We have liability issues and can't go out of the protected area," said supervisor Susan Ellis. "What he did was his own decision. He knew the company rules and did what he thought he needed to do."
Lopez said he was sitting at his post at about 1:45 p.m. Monday when someone rushed to his stand asking for help. Lopez said he noticed a man struggling in the water south of his post. The man was previously swimming in an "unprotected" stretch of the beach, city officials confirmed Tuesday.
"It was a long run, but someone needed my help. I wasn't going to say no," he said.
Company officials said the rescue took place about 1,500 feet south of the company's protective boundaries. The unprotected area has signs alerting beachgoers to swim at their own risk.
By the time Lopez arrived, several witnesses had pulled the unidentified man out of the water. Lopez said the man appeared semi-conscious and had water in his lungs.
Lopez said he and a off-duty nurse attended to the man until the city's paramedics arrived.
The man, whose identity was not released because of medical privacy laws, was taken to Aventura Hospital, where he remained in the intensive care unit Tuesday, said city spokesman Peter Dobens.
After the incident, Lopez said his boss asked him to fill out an incident report. His boss then fired him for leaving his assigned area.
"They didn't tell me in a bad way. It was more like they were sorry, but rules are rules," Lopez said. "I couldn't believe what was happening."
Lopez became a lifeguard four months ago after passing the company's requirements, which include swimming and physical exams. The job pays $8.25 an hour, the lifeguards said.
Company officials said other lifeguards watched over Lopez's area during the rescue and were on the phone with 911 operators.
"The beach remained protected at all times," Ellis said.
She added that the firing and the resignations will not affect manpower during the Fourth of July holiday.
City administrators declined to comment Tuesday, indicating that the firing was a personnel decision made by a private company.
City Mayor Joy Cooper was out of town and could not be reached for comment. Commissioners Keith London and Alexander Lewy each said Tuesday they had not heard of the incident.
Hallandale Beach began outsourcing its lifeguards in 2003 as a money-saving measure. The city pays the company about $334,000 annually to provide four lifeguards and one supervisor at the beach year-round, said Dobens. The company also provides lifeguard services at the city's pools as part of the contract.
The company's contract expires this year.
Tuesday, Lopez acknowledged breaking a rule, but said he would do it again if the situation called for it.
"It was the moral thing to do," Lopez said. "I would never pick a job over my morals."
ijrodriguez@tribune.com; 954-356-4605 or @GeoRodriguez on Twitter.
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/br...ale-beach-lifeguards-20120703,0,5326638.story
 

jimmyslostchin

Malarkey is slang for bullshit isn't it?
Jun 8, 2005
2,332
50
313
NJ
#2
Ain't that about a bitch.
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
Wackbag Staff
Aug 26, 2002
103,106
16,692
839
Your house, behind the couch
#3
Still think tort reform isn't needed? A guy saves a life and gets
fired because his company is afraid of lawsuits. Amazing.
 

Hog's Big Ben

Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
Donator
Jul 28, 2005
27,928
18,083
693
New York
#5
By the time Lopez arrived, several witnesses had pulled the unidentified man out of the water.

Nigga didn't save anyone.
 

Psychopath

Plata O Plomo
Dec 28, 2008
17,717
3,352
393
hell
#6
That company is run my morons.
 

mascan42

Registered User
Aug 26, 2002
18,844
5,673
768
Ronkonkoma, Long Island
#7
Honestly, I can kinda see where they're coming from. While he's out saving someone in an area he's not paid to watch, someone might need help in his assigned area, and that person is fucked now. Meanwhile, he took so long to get there, the person he's rushing to save was already saved by people who aren't paid to do it, so he just wasted his time running out there.
 

OilyJillFart

Well-Lubed Member
Sep 26, 2008
2,870
1,137
433
#8
Honestly, I can kinda see where they're coming from. While he's out saving someone in an area he's not paid to watch, someone might need help in his assigned area, and that person is fucked now. Meanwhile, he took so long to get there, the person he's rushing to save was already saved by people who aren't paid to do it, so he just wasted his time running out there.
True, but you have to realize he'd be just as fired if he didn't do it. The person who came to get him would have told the news reporters the guy wouldn't come save the victim, and the company would have shed themselves of him instantly.

It was a no win either way, but at least this way he looks like the good guy.
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
Wackbag Staff
Aug 26, 2002
103,106
16,692
839
Your house, behind the couch
#9
Exactly. Guy drowns, someone sues saying he could have helped.

The reality of the situation is that the guy lived and nobody drowned

in the "protected" zone. No harm, no foul. Firing is retarded.
 

kloraferm

Humor is reason gone mad
Sep 6, 2002
31,366
41
703
Staten Island, NY
#12

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
Donator
Jan 14, 2002
32,840
4,566
898
Land of misfit toys
#13
Still think tort reform isn't needed? A guy saves a life and gets
fired because his company is afraid of lawsuits. Amazing.
And If he didn't I can see the company getting sued for Failure to Act..A person has the requisite training and is identified as a Lifeguard and doesn't act..that an opening for a law suit as well. That's why I could never figure how they sell those "Lifeguard" shirts in certain touristy areas.
 

Saikotic

Scraping a dull blade across your tender eyeball
Donator
Mar 5, 2005
33,778
33,905
693
Right Behind You
#14
Honestly, I can kinda see where they're coming from. While he's out saving someone in an area he's not paid to watch, someone might need help in his assigned area, and that person is fucked now. Meanwhile, he took so long to get there, the person he's rushing to save was already saved by people who aren't paid to do it, so he just wasted his time running out there.
The article said his area was covered by other employees. Also, the man was probably being rescued as the lifeguard was getting notified. But, not being able to see the man's condition before he left his post, he ran over anyway, to offer assistance. (I am assuming here.)

The man had water in his lungs, and the lifeguard quite possibly helped the man get rid of it. I hope the city drops that company's contract. That'll only happen if this story hits their evening news.
 
Dec 25, 2005
10,005
172
513
NJ
#16
It's all over the news. I hope that management company gets fucked. Hard.
 

samurai

Ridiculum Anserini
May 16, 2007
20,710
4,184
568
Chicago
#17
Insurance Co's and lawyers are ruuuuuuuning everything. When "legalities" take priority over common sense, which is becoming more and more common, civilization takes another giant step backwards.

This kid will (rightly) get a bonanza, once the news leaches and inane talk show peddlers jump on it.
 

steve500

Registered User
Oct 20, 2008
4,520
2,099
368
35,000 ft
#19
Definitely deserves more sympathy than that blood sucking bus monitor.

The bigger story is why is the city paying $334k for 4 lifeguards and a supervisor?
 

bill333

Go Screw!
Mar 23, 2005
8,882
1,187
631
Orange County,NY - Hudson Valley
#20
By the time Lopez arrived, several witnesses had pulled the unidentified man out of the water.

Nigga didn't save anyone.

Well, he still could have saved him, just not in the water.



My first thought is, fuck lawyers. With that out of the way

My second thought is ,well, the sign said "swim at your own risk". That's why they put them there dummy

My third thought is, the company stated "the beach remained protected at all times". So, which is it? Was it still protected and no chance of lawsuit because of lack of protection and the guy was just fine going to help someone or were you lying and it wasn't safely protected and possible loss of contract? That's why it shouldn't be run by a company. Would have loved to have seen the reaction, if it was a company family member in trouble.
 

Mags

LDAR, bitch.
Donator
Oct 22, 2004
34,993
12,007
693
Ill Repute
#21
I was a lifeguard as a teen in my home town. We were told to NEVER leave our chair except when relieved by another guard. If there was somebody "out of bounds" we had to whistle like crazy.

If someone came to my chair to say there was a victim out of my line of sight I would've just whistled for a supervisor to go check it out, or at least advise on the situation...assuming my 19-year old supervisor wasn't asleep, smoking pot, or banging a chick in the office.
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
Donator
Feb 20, 2006
59,552
19,736
513
jersey
#22
Too bad Lopez couldnt save the Kintner boy.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
46,714
6,878
693
F.U.B.A.R
#23
The shit heels at the company will surely have bruised arseholes after this cluster fuck.
 

lajikal

Registered User
Aug 6, 2009
15,977
3,852
373
#24
Uprise against the mannn.. He did the right thing, but fuck 'em. He wasn't fired for saving someone, he was fired for leaving his post.
 
Jan 9, 2006
4,561
11
228
Delmar, NY
#25
The firm could ultimately have been sued, officials said.
There ya go. Avoiding getting sued trumps all logic and reason.

The logic of this whole thing is flawed because his "designated area" would be unprotected if he has to do anything to help anyone, even in that "designated area". Are they saying they don't have a plan for who watches the other swimmers while the lifeguard is busy helping someone?