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Florida Lifeguard Fired for Saving Downing Man Outside of His Zone: Make Sense?

Chris D 2012/07/05 17:00:00
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One Florida lifeguard swam a hundred yards past his guard station's zone to save a man who was drowning. And what was his reward? A pink slip. Will he get his job back? The Lifeguard contractor's management is reviewing the decision. Do you think it's ridiculous... or should people follow the rules?


ABCNEWS.GO.COM reports:
'We're reviewing everything that has occurred, and we will either concur with that or we will override what happened based on what we find out,' said Jeff Ellis.
abcnews reports reviewing occurred concur override based jeff ellis

Read More: http://abcnews.go.com/US/fired-fla-lifeguard-reins...

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Top Opinion

  • TasselLady 2012/07/05 21:13:39
    That's ridicuolus!
    TasselLady
    +17
    Oh sure. So he's supposed to let the guy die? What the hell's the matter witih these people???? You save a life and get fired for it??????
    triple facepalm

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  • mae GG 2012/07/06 01:30:58
    mae
    ?? They weren't wrong for firing him? Where was the lifguard whose area had the drowning man? Why wasn't that lifeguard paying attention? Why didn't the Supervisor and Union Shop Steward Review These Points before automatically firing this kid, as you think was OK to do? This incident has drawn so much negative publicity and Public ire and scrutiny from across the entire US for the supervisors and adjacent lifeguard that I cannot see how this will end without someone else being canned and this kid being hired back with commencerate back pay, plus bonus pay for noticing the obvious and taking action.
  • Rachel mae 2012/07/06 03:05:13
    Rachel
    +1
    I think GG just meant that they were in policy bounds when they fired the lifeguard. I don't know for sure - just stipulating based on the SH article - but since he left his zone, even if he made provisions to have others keep an eye on it for him in his absence, that may have been within legal grounds to fire him. I think that's what GG meant. That doesn't mean, of course, that his employers were *right* in doing so. I'm rather pleased with the support this man has received from not only his fellow lifeguards, but the public in general. :)
  • mae Rachel 2012/07/06 03:23:33
    mae
    Poorly-written policy means it's ok for a City-County Lifeguard to ignore a swimmer outside of his zone, and the same is true for the other nine lifeguards? All lifeguards would have been in error if they chose to rescue this drowning man? Ignore=employed. Rescue=fired. Hideous policy. I contend the City and County have No Legal Grounds here and are, in fact, in quite a bit of trouble because this flawed policy was never read and approved by Counsel--Lawyers--for City and County, but was simply adopted 'as is' by the new management team Jeff Elliott Et Al, who thought it was not necessary to have a city-county Lawyer look at it. This is coming on CNN as I type, anxious to see the update on this.
  • Rachel mae 2012/07/06 04:31:33
    Rachel
    +1
    Oooh that's rather interesting. Good to know. I'll be checking news feeds too to see how exactly happens and what the verdict is in regards to the policy. Smells like trouble for the new management team.
  • mae Rachel 2012/07/06 06:25:27
    mae
    +1
    Jeff Elliott was on the reporter's Rt. and Tomas Lopez was on the Lt. Lopez said he saw the man in trouble, called a supervisor who said don't go, Lopez ans. he was going anyway, and called to another lifeguard who came to watch Lopez's zone. Lopez made his way to the man, who was outside of any of the zones being watched by lifeguards. Long story short--Lopez was assisted by a 2nd. lifeguard who reached the man about the same time as Lopez--Both Lopez and the other lifeguard were fired, along with their supervisor and 3 other lifeguards. The remaining Lifeguards resigned en mass. Since the incident, Jeff Elliott has been filled in on all the details. He says the policy did not take into account situations such as this. Everyone involved will get their job back. Lopez thanked Elliott but declined the offer of his job back, says he intends to work for his uncle and go to college. Elliott says Lopez is a model kid who has never been in any trouble and always did he job well. Elliott says he was held up on recieving information due to it being examined by City Corporate Counsel=lawyers. Elliott makes the point that all policies are reviewed by lawyers before being instituted, as was this policy. UH Huh. He did exactly what Corporate counsel damage control told him to do.
  • Rachel mae 2012/07/06 14:19:14
    Rachel
    +1
    Oh damn. A lot more people involved than I had thought. I'm even more of the belief now that Lopez and the other lifeguard did the right thing. And good for him for wanting to go to college. Thanks for the info!
  • mae Rachel 2012/07/06 18:53:59
    mae
    +1
    Here's a kid who did the right thing. I came away with the irksome feeling that his family--with the uncle as Leader--garnered an under-the-table cash payoff for Tomas from the City and county, with the explicit understanding that Tomas Lopez will never, ever, ever speak about it or acknowledge it in any way. I don't get the feeling the other lifeguards fared as well. If you can, pull up that thread, watch it and see how you feel afterward.
  • Rachel mae 2012/07/06 20:07:57
    Rachel
    +1
    Oh will do! That would be just terrible if that were true. People will do anything for money these days. =/
  • mae Rachel 2012/07/06 20:25:56
    mae
    +1
    Personally, I don't think it was so much Tomas Lopez's family as it was City Corporate Counsel doing the old shuffle-and-slide slight of hand hoping to sweep this under the rug as fast as possible. The CNN reporter made mention twice of "disussions We had backstage--as a group--before air time"...made me wonder if CNN suggested a media blitz of Biblical Proportions if no concilation was given to this young man.
  • GG mae 2012/07/06 16:12:31 (edited)
    GG
    +1
    According to their policy, they were in the right to fire him (if they wanted to). So no they weren't in the wrong for firing him.
    Was that the right decision? To me no, he did what any lifeguard should do. He should be commended for that to the highest degree and should have kept his job.
    Thank god people are starting to speak up and take action about the strict rule. Hopefully they will cave in and change that rule so no one will else will have to get fired for doing the right thing.

    If anyone should be fired, it should be that lifeguard who wasn't at his post to save that drowning man, but that's another conversation.
  • mae GG 2012/07/06 18:55:36 (edited)
    mae
    Did you see the CNN coverage of this last night? Very enlightening. Pull it up and watch it if you can.
  • Deb 2012/07/05 19:06:23
    That's ridicuolus!
    Deb
    +4
    He made a selfless decision to save someone he saw drowning. hE SAVED A LIFE...No one was around to help that man, who is now out of intensive care, he scanned HIS area, no one was in danger. This young man is a HERO, in total 7 other Lifeguards quit because of Jeff Ellis Management..and as the Lifeguard in question stated. "I'm not taking the job back if offered...they want to "fix it" now that it's public....That's shady to me" Telling you, FL is strange! :)) NO Offense to my friends that live there..but still.....WOW.
  • glass_butterfly ~YSU~ 2012/07/05 19:04:20
    That's ridicuolus!
    glass_butterfly ~YSU~
    +5
    I don't care what freakin' "Zone" I'm in! If I'm drowning save my ass!
  • BBoy le... glass_b... 2012/07/05 19:16:01
    BBoy legacy
    +1
    id say the same thing.
  • ♫♪‼Chloey Arddun‼♫♪ 2012/07/05 19:03:31
    That's ridicuolus!
    ♫♪‼Chloey Arddun‼♫♪
    +1
    sodahead made a typo :/
  • tori 2012/07/05 18:56:11
    That's ridicuolus!
    tori
    +1
    Why would he even want that job back! He's got common sense and morals, take them to a company that respects that.
  • jgh57 tori 2012/07/05 19:16:12
    jgh57
    +1
    He has been offered his job back after several other lifeguards quit in his support. He refused.
  • tori jgh57 2012/07/05 20:43:36
    tori
    +1
    Good for him!
  • Juno_Bell 2012/07/05 18:49:24
  • Madi 2012/07/05 18:38:21
    That's ridicuolus!
    Madi
    +2
    It's called common sense.
  • Elaine Magliacane 2012/07/05 18:35:21
    That's ridicuolus!
    Elaine Magliacane
    +6
    Nine of his fellow lifeguards QUIT the company in protest of the RIDICULOUS rule... Of COURSE he should render assistance if he can.
  • JCLadybug 2012/07/05 18:34:40
    That's ridicuolus!
    JCLadybug
    +2
    The only good argument was if he didn't get another life guard to cover, that leaves the zone unprotected. That said, if he went out to save someone in his zone....that also leaves the rest of the zone unprotected, so even that is a weak point (but still the only good one). I hate these stupid policies....people get fired for doing the right thing all the time. There are numerous cases where someone prevents a robbery, but gets fired b/c it is policy to let them take the money (to prevent lawsuits etc), I personally don't understand those either.
  • knoodelhed 2012/07/05 18:21:13 (edited)
    That's ridicuolus!
    knoodelhed
    +1
    The Jeff Ellis business model may work nicely enough for waterparks where every aspect of environment and clientele is subject to human design and control, but it's a poor match for ocean lifeguarding at a public/municipal beach. Send Ellis packing and have the local fire department run and employ the lifeguards like they do in many seaside towns.
  • MissGates 2012/07/05 18:20:12
    That's ridicuolus!
    MissGates
    +1
    You gotta be kidding..
  • leslie 2012/07/05 18:11:09
    That's ridicuolus!
    leslie
    +5
    This kid did the right thing at the right time and now he's being penalized for it. WTF.

    I have been in a somewhat similar situation. I was working in an airport. A man left my store and with in seconds he was on the floor being administered CPR by some departing military personnel. I told my supervisor who was there at the time that I had skills that might help. As she walked quickly from the store (and situation) she said it's not your problem. Had he fallen ill in my store, It would have been my problem and a no brainer. I commend this young man for taking action and I hope that someone out there with the financial resources reaches out to Tomas Lopez and shows him that the world believes he did the right thing as well. Screw "Jeff Ellis and Associates" and their lame ass policy THIS KID IS A HERO.
  • kahlia.watson 2012/07/05 18:02:32
  • Mrs Reckless 2012/07/05 17:53:19
    That's ridicuolus!
    Mrs Reckless
    +4
    He saved a guys life? I bet he would have been fired if he just left him there as well
  • Billy the kid 2012/07/05 17:52:09
    That's ridicuolus!
    Billy the kid
    +8
    It makes absolutely no sense, whatsoever.What would once have been lauded as an act of heroism is now subject to the petty rules of bureaucracy. I wager the guy whose life he saved will not be putting in any complaints against him....!!
  • BUCCANE... Billy t... 2012/07/05 17:53:44
    BUCCANEER~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    +3
    It seems that our PC lunacy has crossed the pond,M8
  • Billy t... BUCCANE... 2012/07/05 17:59:27
    Billy the kid
    +1
    I agree, Bucc. My dear old dad always used to say that ,whatever happened in the States, found it's way over to us in Blighty 5 or 6 years later. That of course, was before the days of TV and especially long before the 'net.Now it would appear that us Brits get
    the 'lunacy' BEFORE our American friends do!!!
  • BUCCANE... Billy t... 2012/07/05 18:01:01
    BUCCANEER~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    Sad fact,Ray thanks to the EU
  • Billy t... BUCCANE... 2012/07/05 18:01:39
  • Fef 2012/07/05 17:44:06
    That's ridicuolus!
    Fef
    +5
    Perhaps he violated the rule by leaving his post unmanned, however, the imminent danger to the drowning swimmers seems more real and threatening than another potential drowning in his zone.
  • Chris D 2012/07/05 17:39:37
    That's ridicuolus!
    Chris D
    +1
    Do the right thing and tell the lawyers to pound sand...
  • SebaTheSociallyAwkwardPenguin 2012/07/05 17:37:10 (edited)
    That's ridicuolus!
    SebaTheSociallyAwkwardPenguin
    +5
    wow...no matter what you do you get bashed for it, he saved someone, the place should be sued for not having another lifeguard present.
  • Zach McClintock 2012/07/05 17:36:45
    Rules are rules...
    Zach McClintock
    This seems like are you a Republican or Democrat question
  • Bulanov... Zach Mc... 2012/07/05 18:02:31
    Bulanova (Team Hargitay)
    +6
    Not to anyone sane.
  • JCLadybug Zach Mc... 2012/07/05 18:36:29
    JCLadybug
    +2
    That makes no sense, if anyone thinks rules are rules when it comes to human life...I don't want to know their political leanings.
  • Inquisi... Zach Mc... 2012/07/06 01:22:25
    Inquisitve Kat
    How so? I'm noticing people are voting overwhelmingly "that's ridiculous", regardless of being Republican or Democrat.
  • mae Zach Mc... 2012/07/06 01:35:55
    mae
    +1
    OMG. You need help.

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