City plans to honor fired lifeguard
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- The City of Hallandale Beach is planning to honor a lifeguard who was fired after saving someone's life.
Tomas Lopez said he received a call on behalf of Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper on Friday, telling him that the city wants to present him and the two others who helped drag the drowning man out of the water with a key to the city at 10:30 a.m. Monday.
Lopez said, though he is excited about receiving the honor, he feels even more excited about meeting the man he helped save that day. "I'm very excited about meeting the drowning victim," he said. "I'm very excited about receiving the keys to the city. It's going to be a great honor."
Lopez was fired from his job for leaving his post to help save the drowning swimmer outside of his zone, Monday afternoon. In addition, two other lifeguards were fired just for saying they would have done the same thing. "We're doing what should have happened to him right away," the mayor said, "is recognize him for his heroism. We're going to be giving him the key to the city as well as recognizing the other Good Samaritans that were involved."
The fired lifeguard has since received waves of support from across the nation. Jeff Ellis, of Jeff Ellis Management, the company that fired Lopez, apologized for the supervisor's decision to fire him and the two others that supported Lopez. He offered Lopez his job back on national television, but Lopez declined, saying he preferred to move on with school and a career, calling his decision nothing against the company.
Ellis said his company has been on the receiving end of a lot of negativity ever since the firing of Lopez. "Anytime you make this kind of mistake, you're going to have a kick back that will all be negative," he said.
The tourist Lopez saved from drowning was released from the hospital Thursday.
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