Tomas Lopez, Lifeguard Fired For Saving Man Outside His Coverage Zone, Offered Old Job Back

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Fired Florida lifeguard Tomas Lopez, who was let go earlier this week for saving a swimmer outside his jurisdiction, has been offered his old job back.

His response: Thanks but no thanks.

"It's another chapter in my life closed and I am just going to continue to get my schooling finished and get on with my career," Lopez told CNN.

Tomas Lopez Photo

The much-publicized incident took place at Hallandale Beach, north of Miami, on Monday, when Lopez instinctively went after a drowning man.

Lopez said the man had turned blue and "was having a lot of trouble breathing." He was outside Lopez's coverage zone, though, so he got fired.

The pink slip was handed down by Jeff Ellis Management Co., which says lifeguards are not insured outside the beach for which they are responsible.

Ellis told CNN on Thursday: "Clearly, he should not have been terminated for what had occurred. I know that he has tried to do the right thing."

"I have no doubts I did the right thing," Lopez, who said he knew the rules but acted anyway, told CNN in the aftermath of his pink slip.

"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."

Three other lifeguards quit in protest and two others were dismissed after saying they would have followed Tomas Lopez's example.

As for the drowning victim, a nurse on the beach assisted him until EMTs arrived. He is said to be in good condition as of Friday, CNN reports.


The city should NOT be contracting with a company like Jeff Ellis Management!! Any organization that is as insensitive and callous to fire a worker because he saved someone "outside their work zone" should not be involved in ANY business that deals with people!


Black and white again you realize young kids get on the internet.You will only make anger within them.


Lopez didn't do jack except for taking credit that others did.
Other people pulled him out of the water and a nurse that happened to be there performed life-saving techniques.