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.
Topics Companies and Corporations Hallandale Beach Aventura "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.
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."The company doesn't say they had to fire him, so it must still be a choice, right? This guy barely makes over minimum wage and saved a dying man, only to lose his job. That makes no sense whatsoever, and the fake tone of regret doesn't help a bit.
What a crock. No company worth a damn fires a man for saving a man drowning right in front of him, because someone else may have chosen that minute to drown.