We will all be answering questions together, 3 of us were fired and the rest resigned from the company.

Here are some of the news articles:




here is my facebook: http://www.facebook.com/szilard.janko i posted the reddit link on there also, I am one of the lifeguards that quit on the day of the incident, the rest of us are all making accounts to answer questions on this thread.

I will post the name of the reddit accounts of the rest of the lifeguards here as soon as they have one.

tlopez91- Tomas Lopez

dralizs- Szilard Janko

zoard- Zoard Janko twitter: @ZoardJanko

Brianz0rz: Brian Ritchie

UPDATE: there are many things in the news that are not accurate. We will try to find time and answer as many questions so at least on here we can have what actually happened without the media editing or "spicing up the story."

Comments: 1029 • Responses: 16  • Date: 

Veract514 karma

This sort of thing made me mad. Though to be honest, I'm pretty sure you would've been fired either way. Here's my view on it. Say you did nothing, did exactly what you were supposed to, you all stayed in your zone like you were supposed to. You saw what was happening, and didn't move. The story gets out that there were lifeguards in view that stood around and did nothing to save the man? Especially if he had died? There would've been an uproar in that community, and the company most likely would've fired you or let you go for some nondescript reason.

Really, you guys got the shitty end of the stick, you did the right thing, and possibly saved someone's life. And then get punished for it. Hopefully everything works out for you guys. I completely understand why the others quit.

Seeing as this is an AMA, I should ask you...Did you ever have an overprotective parent get angry at you from keeping their kid out of harms way?

pieface_0240 karma

I'm not one of the guards who worked there, but during my training it was made quite clear that we do not have a say in the matter as to who we save or assist. If we see a person in need of help and we do nothing we can be sued for quite a bit of money. In fact, as this is part of our licensing, the guard involved may be able to sue because of this.

dralizs213 karma

This is what we are hoping to change at our beach, the contract for the company does not allow us to rescue someone that is outside of our guarded zones, my friend was fired because he went to help a person outside the guarded zone.

dralizs53 karma

Are you asking if we ever had an "overprotective parent get angry at you from keeping their kid out of harms way" while I was still lifeguarding?

Veract23 karma

yeah, sorry, should've specified

dralizs38 karma

I never ever had an angry parent come up to me about this while I was on duty.

dralizs306 karma

"The victim was reported in good condition Wednesday at Aventura Hospital" the Sun Sentinel updated their story a few hours ago, best news we heard all day!! :)


rico_bonsai212 karma

i just want to say that i applaud lifeguard Tomas Lopez! He put first his duty as a human being before his duty as a lifeguard. kudos to you!

I also applaud the other lifeguards for standing for what is right!

dralizs93 karma

Just talked to Tommy, he is making an account right now so he can also join and answer questions on this thread.

MatthewMadness14513150 karma

Isn't the job of a lifeguard to guard someone's life? In my eyes (and others I'm sure) you did a fantastic job, and I thank you for doing what you guys do.

dralizs127 karma

Lifeguard: An expert swimmer employed to rescue bathers who get into difficulty at a beach or swimming pool. -Dictionary.com

CMO_Ratchet113 karma

This sort of situation only attributes to the terrible bystander effect we have. Not only do people think 'someone else will help so I don't have to' now they have this constant worry of 'will I get hurt? Will this negatively effect me? Will I be sued for helping?' etc. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. I'm glad and thankful for what this guy did and hope you can pass that message along. Stories like this remind me of the tale of the boy and the starfish.

Little boy is throwing star fish back into the ocean at the break of dawn, old man walking the beach asks him why. Little boy says "If they don't get back in the water, they will dry out and die."

Old man looks at the beach, covered with starfish and laughs, "There are thousands of starfish, you'll never make a difference."

The little boy picked up a starfish and looked at it, before throwing it back into the surf and said, "I made a difference to that one."

We may not be able to change the world, but that lifeguard helped save a life that otherwise may have been lost and for that he's got my thanks.

dralizs83 karma

We may not be able to change the world? What if more than one person started "throwing star fish back into the ocean?" With enough people change can be accomplished.

CMO_Ratchet12 karma

You are correct sir, Enough people, every day, could save all the starfish and I truly wish we could see something of that caliber happen in my life time, but I just don't think it will. Sure that makes me pessimistic but I still do what I can, I just know I can't force anyone else to get up at the butt crack of dawn to go toss starfish back into the water.

dralizs36 karma

Nobody should be forced to do anything anyways, but maybe by setting the right examples more people will choose to do the right thing in every situation in life.

wickedren243 karma

I would like to know how Mr. Lopez could be sure at the time of the rescue that the drowning swimmer had not been at his beach and was swept down along with the southern moving current?

Mr. Lopez could not be certain at the time of the rescue that the drowning man was NOT his responsibility prior to the realization of a drowning man. I can not think of a public policy argument that favors the presumption that your employer would not be responsible the moment an imperiled swimmer was swept past an arbitrary boundary.

Stick to your guns...a vague territorial based policy will not be found to be the critical thing here: Lifeguards need the discretion to make decisions on the ground in the way Mr. Lopez performed. Thanks

TLopez9154 karma

From what I know he wasn't swept away. I believe he was a resident of the Condos on the beach. I see what you are saying though. It could have been my responsibility beforehand. It's a very bad protocol in my opinion and would like to see the protocol be removed.

wickedren234 karma

Asinine protocol aside... I would like to say thanks to you for choosing YOUR rule book to play from. I'm sure every one here on Reddit hopes that the minor employment set back will only open up better things for you and the Janko Brothers in the near future.

dralizs32 karma

Thank you very much for the support and positive feedback, I would just like to say that there are a couple of other lifeguards that were effected by this, another one that got fired and at least 3 that quit so far, they still did not have time to make a Reddit and join on here.

wickedren216 karma

I read the reporting from Local 10. Zoard Janko never left his post, but was asked if he would have saved a person in an unprotected zone, and when he answered yes he was fired. Szilard Janko quit after you were fired for leaving your area during the rescue. And more lifeguards quit in solidarity. The former vice mayor who supported their bid now seems against further contracts with them. What would you like to see happen to Jeff Ellis Associates contract with the city?

dralizs28 karma

We are hoping that the company is removed from the beach and that the city takes over operating it, all other beaches in our area are run by their cities.

wickedren25 karma

Szilard! Thanks for taking he time to answer these questions though I am certain you will be inundated with questions for the next few days. Good Luck (and get some sleep!).

dralizs8 karma

No problem and yes I have to get some sleep ASAP had a very longgg day

MrCynicalMan20 karma

How quickly did your co-workers quit after they found out you were fired?

dralizs56 karma

I am one of the guards that quit, and 2 others quit with me on the same day of the rescue as soon as we heard that Tommy was fired.

dralizs19 karma

Zoard Janko and Travis Madrid, the two lifeguards that got fired on Tuesday for disagreeing with the company policy are about to go live on Fox News at 10:00, we are at the station now.

Frajer19 karma

Do you still want to lifeguard somewhere else?

dralizs48 karma

Yes, most of us do and we will probably be doing our red cross training soon to find a lifeguard position somewhere else.

wayneunser4 karma

i just heard about this coming in after setting off fireworks (west coast person here) anyway, you're a first responder, you were doing your job; as was the off duty nurse who helped out until the paramedics arrived. i'm in the medical field, and although my scope of practice isn't up there, if i was put in the same situation...i'd have to do something.

have you talked to the guy since he's been the hospital?

dralizs6 karma

We have not been able to talk with the guy yet, we just found out a few hours ago that he is okay though, he was still at Aventura hospital on Wednesday.

patefacio3 karma

This makes me absolutely furious. As a lifeguard, albeit a pool guard, I've had to deal with my fair share of incompetent supervisors, I can't imagine any of them would ever react in this manner. You guys did the right thing by quitting in protest. You have been trained to save lives, and that's exactly what you did. The threat of litigation shouldn't be a factor. Don't you have Good Samaritan laws down there?

dralizs3 karma

I am hearing from others that Florida does have a Good Samaritan law, I am reading up on it now.