July 10th, 2012
02:32 AM ET

Fired Florida lifeguard gets key to city; meets man whose life he saved

Fired Florida lifeguard Tomas Lopez was honored with the key to the city Monday and got a chance to meet the man who life he saved.

Lopez made national news last week when he was fired for leaving his post so he could save a swimmer outside his coverage zone at Hallandale Beach.

"It is a big honor. I don't believe I deserve the key in general. All our guards would have done this," Lopez told the crowd assembled at Hallandale Beach City Hall on Monday, according to CNN affiliate WFOR. "All I did was what I was supposed to do."

The incident occurred July 2 at the beach on Florida's Atlantic coast, north of Miami.

A beachgoer rushed to Lopez's lifeguard station to alert him to a man who was drowning.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    What the city needs to dio is give this young man a job!
    Shame on that lifegyard company!

    July 10, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. fernace

    The company fired him for saving a man's life, because he went out of his zone!? Who are these nincompo.ops? Did they truly expect him to sit by, while the man drowned!? I'm glad he did, as he put it:"what I was supposed to do"! I agree w/banasy; give that man a job & a raise!!

    July 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Obama Mama

    Hello fernace- They tried to give his job back and the others with a raise, he declined and said he was going to get a job closer to home.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well, all that publicity could not have helped the lifeguard company at all; perhaps they will think twice before doing something so darned stupid!
      And I am glad that the kid stuck to his guns; he put people before profits, something that is sadly lacking these days...

      July 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Datacomm

    I think I see why the lifeguard company would have to fire him. They mentioned liability issues and those are real! There's Sharks in the ocean but layers in the legal system just as hungry!

    The reports showed that the guards all knew about the liability issues but the news media and nobody here has said anything about that.

    I would bet the lifeguard company would have offered him his job back with or without all the public whine. That company has to operate within the legal tangle the country finds itself in.

    I did notice that in the scramble to make as much out of this story as they could that many news networks stories contradict each other so I don't think many people even know what really happened.

    I think this kid is probably a nice kid and that Jeff Ellis has a good company that has done much good at our pools and beaches. I feel good about my kids and grandkids having his guards looking out for them.

    July 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |