Jeff Ellis Management, the company for which Tomas Lopez worked, had said lifeguards cannot go beyond the perimeter of the beach they are responsible for overseeing. The 21-year old lad left his post so he could save a swimmer outside his coverage zone.
After the media got going on the story the company offered him the job back but he refused.
Three other lifeguards quit in protest and two others were dismissed after saying they would have acted as Lopez did.
"They told us we would be liabilities and we had to be let go," lifeguard Travis Madrid told CNN.
Lifeguard Szilard Janko said he guarded Lopez's zone while the latter aided the swimmer. "They let him go after he performed the rescue," Janko said. "They fired him basically on the spot."
"At that point I knew I was going to be fired. I knew I had broken the rule," Lopez said. "In those cases, we are supposed to call 911 and hope they get there in time."
Did Lopez deserve to be fired? I surely don't think so.
Florida lifeguard gets fired for saving a life
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