Tomas Lopez, the 21-year-old lifeguard who was fired after saving a man from drowning outside his coverage zone, “humbly declined” the company’s offer to re-hire him.
CNN reports that Lopez was irked by his firing, and considering the outrage by most everyone who reads his story, he has good reason. He stated on Wednesday that:
“The reason I was fired is just ridiculous. It is a ridiculous rule, really. What was I supposed to do? Just let the guy drown?”
Despite rejecting the re-hire offer, Lopez stated that “The company offered a real good apology.” Instead, however, he has decided that focusing on his studies at Broward College.
The Miami Herald reports that Lopez was fired on Monday after he left his station to help a man who was drowning behind the Hemispheres apartment complex. Jeff Ellis Management, the company Lopez worked for, states that lifeguards may not go beyond the perimeter of the beach they are responsible for looking after.
Lopez has stated that he knowingly violated the rule, which says that in situations like Monday’s, lifeguards are supposed to call 911 and hope help arrives in time. He stated Thursday, according to CNN, that:
“I have no doubts I did the right thing. I believe I did what was right, and that if someone needs help you’re going to go help them, regardless if you’re a lifeguard or not.”
The Jeff Ellis Management company, who has been overseeing the beach for the past 10 years, has said they will begin an investigation, stating:
“If we find our actions on the part of the leadership team were inappropriate, we will rectify it based upon the information that comes forward.”
The city of Hallendale, however, was less than impressed by the company’s response, according to Newser, as City manager Renee Crichton stated that:
“We take the safety to all visitors to our beaches very seriously. Whether they are in a protected area or unprotected area, we believe aid must be rendered.”
Do you think that Tomas Lopez’s former employer should still be allowed to patrol the beaches, knowing that if someone is outside their protection zone, they will not try to save them?