Valor, Corporate America Style

Or, a classic tale of No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

As lifeguards are paid and trained to do, Tomas Lopez rushed down the beach to rescue a drowning man — and then got fired for it.

The problem: Lopez stepped out of the beach zone his company is paid to patrol, a supervisor said Tuesday.

Lifeguards in Hallandale Beach work for Orlando-based company Jeff Ellis and Associates, which has been providing lifeguard services for the city’s beaches and pools since 2003.  Company officials on Tuesday said Lopez broke a rule that could’ve put beachgoers in his designated area in jeopardy. The firm could ultimately have been sued, officials said.

“We have liability issues and can’t go out of the protected area,” said supervisor Susan Ellis. “What he did was his own decision. He knew the company rules and did what he thought he needed to do.”  — SunSentinel

Stay in your lane, lifeguard!  You don’t make life-and-death decisions, the company does!  Between a dead swimmer and potential litigation, the choice is obvious.

Meanwhile, two other lifeguards have quit in protest.

Oh, and the company line is that “other lifeguards” kept an eye on Lopez’ post while he effected the rescue, and had 911 on the line.

Rather nauseating conduct for a company whose revenue depends on providing services to ensure public safety, but business is business, and policy is policy.  Which is why governments that retain such businesses need to be more selective.

For further (and ongoing) outrage, read here.

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3 Responses to Valor, Corporate America Style

  1. Lois Terms says:

    If this were the 60s, the whole squad would walk off in protest.

  2. Stan Garde says:

    Of course he responded to a plea for assistance — that’s his job. He saved a life. Can you imagine a lifeguard on post saying, “Sorry — that’s out of my area,” and letting him drown? And this is what his company says he SHOULD have done?

    The lifeguard deserves a medal, not a pink slip. The company is the one that needs to go.

  3. Moose and Squirrel says:

    See, this is why government needs to run more like a business. When the guy drowns when swimming in an unprotected area, he reinforces the wisdom of marketing only limited beach areas, promoting cost-efficiency of services. Plus, his demise takes out of the equation an obvious risk factor and rule breaker.

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