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Fla. lifeguard fired for... attempting to save a life?

By 69 News, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 05 2012 05:24:16 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 05 2012 12:21:01 PM CDT

AP

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -

South Florida lifeguard Tomas Lopez helped save a drowning man and got fired for it.

The reason: He left the section of a south Florida beach his company is paid to patrol.

The Sun Sentinel reported Lopez was on duty Monday at Hallandale Beach when a beachgoer asked for help. Lopez said he ran to assist a man struggling in the water south of his post.

Lopez rescued the man, and an off-duty nurse helped him until paramedics arrived. The victim survived and was hospitalized.

Afterward, Lopez was fired.

The Orlando-based company, Jeff Ellis and Associates, said Lopez broke a company rule by leaving his section. Supervisor Susan Ellis said the company has "liability issues" and lifeguards can't leave their designated areas.

Two other lifeguards have quit in protest.

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