You’ve likely heard the story by now of the Florida lifeguard who was fired for guarding life … saving a man who was drowning outside of the lifeguard’s designated lifeguard zone.
The “liberal truth” that politics can change a culture and save it from itself is double-edged. For just as politics can save the culture, politics can also destroy it.
Which brings me to Thomas Lopez, a 21-year-old lifeguard in South Florida.
Two days before the Fourth of July, Lopez was fired for helping rescue a man drowning 1,500 feet outside of his designated zone.
“It was a long run, but someone needed my help. I wasn’t going to say no,” Lopez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and other media outlets.
When Lopez filed his incident report, he was canned on the spot.
“They didn’t tell me in a bad way. It was more like they were ‘sorry, but rules are rules,’” Lopez said. “I couldn’t believe what was happening.”
The contractor that manages the lifeguard service has explained that the matter is out of its hands, too. Liability issues — i.e., fear of lawsuits, insurance requirements, etc. — demand a zero-tolerance policy for unauthorized lifesaving.
It’s a small anecdote, to be sure. But does anyone doubt that there’s something about the legal regime in this country that’s creating a headwind against basic human decency?