On July 9, Hallandale Beach officials will present former lifeguard Tomas Lopez, 21, and his co-workers who supported him, with the keys to the city for their courageous actions.
According to the press release, the man Lopez and his fellow lifeguards helped to save in the near-drowning incident on July 2 will meet his rescuers for the first time.
“It’s an amazing honor, really,” said Lopez. “But honestly the point of this is to discuss what we’ve been fighting for.”
Lopez said he and his fellow former lifeguards are hoping to change the rule in place that prohibited them from saving lives outside designated beach coverage zones. He said he hopes the city will have a plan in place should someone need rescuing outsize the patrol zone.
Lopez had been working as a lifeguard in Hallandale Beach, Fla., for only 4 months when he was fired on Monday for leaving his post to save a man who was drowning in unprotected waters.
While the private contractor hired to provide lifesaving services for the city’s beaches offered Lopez his job back yesterday, Lopez declined.
When asked if Lopez would want to help the city create a new policy for beach safety, he said he would consider it.
“At this point, I still have school to worry about,” he said. “But I would be a part of it if need be.”