Wow! This is just so dumb! Tomas Lopez, a 21-year-old lifeguard in Hallandale Beach, Florida, was fired earlier this week right after he helped rescue a drowning man! But wait, doesn't saving lives fall directly under the description of lifeguard? Apparently, ONLY if the person drowning is swimming inside your zone. Say what? Yeah, I know, I told you it was dumb. 

The company Lopez used to work for, Jeff Ellis Management, has a strict rule that says lifeguards are not supposed to leave the section of the beach they're patrolling because of liability issues. But we're talking about another person's life here! What about the moral issues that go with letting a person drown?

Read more in ¿Qué más?: Would you sell out your coworker?

This, according to Lopez,  is what happened Monday : he was at his post when he was summoned by somebody saying that a person was drowning about 1,500 feet away from the area he was patrolling. Lopez said he didn't hesitate and started running toward the drowning man even though he was outside his zone and swimmers are warned that they're swimming at their own risk since there's no lifeguards there.

When he got to the man, other people had already taken him out of the water, and Lopez and an off-duty nurse helped him while they waited for paramedics. The victim survived, but he's still in the hospital. 

When Lopez got back to his post, he was asked to fill out an incident report and then he was fired. Lopez says he knew it would happen--because of the company's policy--but that there was no way he could sit back while someone was drowning. After he was let go, six other lifeguards quit in a show of support and because they say they would've done the same thing as Lopez. 

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The contractor is now considering reinstating him and any of the other lifeguards that quit, but Lopez is not interested. And I'm with him 100 percent! Saving someone's life is definitely more important than any job!

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What do you think about this incident? Should Lopez take his job back? Share your thoughts by leaving us a comment. 

Image via Local10.com

 

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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