Florida Lifeguard Fired for Saving Life
Lifeguard Tomas Lopez Fired for Helping to Save a Life
As a former lifeguard in California I was shocked when I read that Jeff Ellis Management fired 21 year old lifeguard, Tomas Lopez, for sprinting 1,500 feet past a swim at own risk sign to save the life of a drowning man.
I was less shocked when at least 3 of his coworkers quit in a show of solidarity for Tomas and disgust for the management company that fired others who would also choose life over location.
The website for Jeff Ellis Management states that "our clients put safety first." Really? If safety was put first than the man should be given a medal instead of a ticket to the unemployment office. I know that I am not the only person that is frustrated that Tomas saved a man turning blue only to be rewarded with a pink slip. Wow.
The company released a statement that "liability issues" is why lifeguards are instructed to call an ambulance instead of providing lifesaving help to somebody who doesn't have the luxury of waiting 10 minutes for paramedics to arrive.
In my opinion there should be liability issues if a trained lifeguard doesn't do what he/she can to help.
While Doctors take the Hippocratic oath it appears that Jeff Ellis Management takes an oath of hypocrisy.
I am happy to report that the city of Hallandale Beach Florida is reconsidering its decision to outsource who manages the lifeguards.
Update: Sun Sentinel reports that Tomas was offered job back and declined.
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