In Florida, a lifeguard was fired for saving a life. Thomas Lopez was fired because he went past a sign he wasn't supposed to, in order to help save a distressed swimmer. Thomas saved a 19-year-old Estonian tourist named, Maksim Samartsev. After the rescue, Maksim shook Thomas's hand and said "Thanky you." Maksim was swimming in an unprotected part of the beach. People helped pull him Maksim out of the water while Thomas stayed with him while the paramedics arrived. Maksim received oxygen for two days. Thomas was fired for leaving his section on the beach right after the rescue. Jeff Ellis head of the lifeguarding services, decided that Thomas was fired too quickly and he offered him his job back but, Thomas decided thay he wanted to pursue other opportunities. Thomas said he didn't want to work at the company out of spite or anything he just wanted to finish school and find another job.
Thomas was only fired because he broke a big rule for the lifeguards. The reason why they have the rule not to pass the sign is because, it puts the lifeguards at risk as well. They wouldn't want two people to die at once. Two other lifeguards quit as well because they were angry that Thomas got fired for doing his job! For his heroic rescue, Thomas was honored at the city hall ceremony in Arizona and he got to meet Maksim after he recovered.