Close Ad

Lifeguard Fired For Saving A Life Gets Incredible Reward After Public Outrage
tomas lopez lifeguard fired
Everyday Heroes

Lifeguard Fired For Saving A Life Gets Incredible Reward After Public Outrage

A lifeguard fired for simply doing his job well was honored by his city.


A life in danger

21-year-old lifeguard Tomas Lopez was on duty in Hallandale Beach, Florida when a beachgoer alerted him to someone drowning. Lopez immediately ran to the scene.

Once he arrived to the scene, the swimmer was already on land. The man, Maksim Samartsev of Estonia, was semi-conscious and had trouble breathing.

Lopez and an off-duty nurse tended to Samartsev until paramedics arrived.

Dismissed

After the rescue, Lopez's manager called him to the office to fill out an incident report, and also to fire him. The reason: leaving his "assigned area."

Lopez was floored.

"It was a long run, but someone needed my help. I wasn't going to say no"

Tomas Lopez, to CBS

Szilard Janko, one of two lifeguards to quit in protest, put it more bluntly.

"What was he supposed to do? Watch a man drown?"

Jeff Ellis & Associates, the private company that provides lifeguarding services to the city, was unmoved. 

"We have liability issues and can't go out of the protected area," supervisor Susan Ellis said in a prepared statement.

"What he did was his own decision. He knew the company rules and did what he thought he needed to do."

Redemption

As news of Lopez's harsh firing made national headlines, pressure against Jeff Ellis & Associates mounted. As a result, they offered the lifeguards their jobs back, but all refused.

Redemption came several days later when Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper invited Lopez and his colleagues as special guests to an event in their honor. 

There, to a standing ovation, she presented Lopez with the key to the city, an honor given only to "a trusted friend of city residents," per Wikipedia

In attendance at the event was someone especially eager to meet Lopez.

"I would like to say a big thanks to this man. He saved my life"

- Maksim Samartsev, per CBS Miami

That evening, Mayor Cooper also announced that the city will no longer be using Jeff Ellis & Associates for their lifeguarding services.

In an apologetic statement, the company agreed, saying that the "mishandling of the Tomas Lopez incident undermined public confidence."

Do what's right no matter the cost

After all is said and done, Lopez insists he didn't do anything more than his duty.

"All guards would have done the same thing. I think all of us deserve this. All I did was do what I was suppose to do"

- Tomas Lopez

But he ran where he was needed and did what's right, and, in the end, he received a hero's welcome.

So no matter how hard it gets to make a judgement call, remember that doing the right but sometimes difficult thing always pays off.

For more uplifting news:

Hot Stories

Snoop Dogg Wouldn't Choose Sides, Tupac Called Him Out
Snoop Dogg The Family You Choose
content.jwplatform.com

Snoop Dogg is an icon of positivity and peace, but that wasn't always the case. After the "Drop It Like It's Hot" gangster rapper faced felony charges and 3-year prison sentence he decided to make a change. Slowly but surely, Snoop Dogg traded in the "guns, drugs, and thugs" lifestyle for cannabis and a lucrative business partnership with Martha Stewart. But decades later it seems his past is coming back to haunt him. In a shocking interview, Jada Pinkett-Smith confronts Snoop about Tupac’s tragic death. She asks the questions no one dared ask: Why did Snoop and Tupac have a falling out? Did Snoop betray Tupac to save himself?

Celebrities
Two kids sitting in a classroom and a woman in a car.

Mom Has Perfect Response When Her Son Bullied a Black Girl

Pexels/ RDNE Stock project and TikTok/ @careymitchh

When it comes to raising kids, most parents would agree that they just want to raise good, kind humans who treat others with respect and empathy.

So when situations involving bullying arise, parents want to think of their child as the defender (at best) or an innocent bystander (at worst).

But what happens when YOUR kid is the bully?

Keep ReadingShow less
Stories
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson smiling and a screenshot of Dwayne Johnson's post on Instagram.

Dwayne Johnson Serenades 4-Year-Old With Favorite Moana Song

Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney and Instagram/ @therock

Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson surprised us all with his singing chops as the lovable, shapeshifting demi-god Maui in the Disney smash hit, Moana.

But it's his performance off-screen for one very special 4-year-old girl that's currently making waves on social media.

Keep ReadingShow less
Uplifting News