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Old Jul 7, 2012, 06:40 PM   #51
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It's an unfortunate by product of living in such a litigious society. I'd bet dollars to donuts that stupid CYA rules are largely a reaction to stupid lawsuits.
I believe that's true in many cases, but sometimes it's just sensible.

Consider this possibility: your child is swimming in the lifeguard's assigned zone. The lifeguard leaves his assigned zone to save someone in a "no swimming" or "swim at your own risk" zone. Because of the lifeguard's absence, your child drowns. You later find out that the lifeguard was out of his assigned zone, where he ostensibly would have rescued your child had he been there. I don't think it's unreasonable in that case for you to bring a lawsuit against the lifeguard company. That's not being litigious, that's sensible. And the company is trying to protect itself against that sort of thing.
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Old Jul 7, 2012, 07:01 PM   #52
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I believe that's true in many cases, but sometimes it's just sensible.

Consider this possibility: your child is swimming in the lifeguard's assigned zone. The lifeguard leaves his assigned zone to save someone in a "no swimming" or "swim at your own risk" zone. Because of the lifeguard's absence, your child drowns. You later find out that the lifeguard was out of his assigned zone, where he ostensibly would have rescued your child had he been there. I don't think it's unreasonable in that case for you to bring a lawsuit against the lifeguard company. That's not being litigious, that's sensible. And the company is trying to protect itself against that sort of thing.
You're still putting the lifeguard in a horrible situation. A) Watch a human being drown( maybe it was someone else's kid) in an area that no one covers while staying in your zone. B) Go rescue said human being and go out of your zone. Risk getting fired and/or sued if anything happened while you were out of your zone.

You're asking people to let other humans die because it wasn't in their zone. It would be like a cop about to see someone get shot, raped, etc but they are just outside of his jurisdiction. Are we to say the cop should let the criminal kill, rape, etc said person?
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Old Jul 7, 2012, 07:14 PM   #53
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Let us examine just who is putting this lifeguard in this "horrible situation".

The swimmer, knowingly swimming outside the patrolled area?

The governmental authority, for not having enough supervised beach for the idiots in society?

His employer, for not having 2 lifeguards on duty at all times, should one be needed for a rescue?

He is only one guy, making less than $10 an hour, and yet you expect him to exhibit super-natural powers?

Nope.

EDIT: Oh, one more thing. The thread title is a stretch of the imagination.

"Lifeguard fired for doing his job". He was fired for not doing his job, as assigned.

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Old Jul 8, 2012, 03:13 AM   #54
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I believe that's true in many cases, but sometimes it's just sensible.

Consider this possibility: your child is swimming in the lifeguard's assigned zone. The lifeguard leaves his assigned zone to save someone in a "no swimming" or "swim at your own risk" zone. Because of the lifeguard's absence, your child drowns. You later find out that the lifeguard was out of his assigned zone, where he ostensibly would have rescued your child had he been there. I don't think it's unreasonable in that case for you to bring a lawsuit against the lifeguard company. That's not being litigious, that's sensible. And the company is trying to protect itself against that sort of thing.
Right off the bat I have to say that everywhere you swim you swim at your own risk. Just because there is a lifeguard on duty doesn't mean said lifeguard will save you if you are drowning and if you die it doesn't mean the lifeguard was criminally negligent. Maybe the lifeguard didn't see you because he was stone cold drunk. That's a problem. Maybe the lifeguard didn't see you because you were paralyzed from a seizure and looked like you were just floating along with the 100's of other people when you were actually drowning. That's not on the lifeguard.

At some point someone started an example involving kids, to pull at the old heart strings I assume, and since we are talking about children where are the parents? Swimming, especially in the ocean, assumes a lot of risk and the parents are the ones tasked with the primary responsibility of minimizing the risk for their children.

What if two people are drowning in a single zone then what? The lifeguard has to make a split second decision about who is in most need of help and who he has the best odds of saving. If the lifeguard goes after Person A but Person B dies is the lifeguard at fault for not being able to be in two places at the same time?

There's no way to talk about this in broad strokes because each situation is different and ultimately comes down to a split second judgement call that will be examined under a microscope after the fact.
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 10:40 AM   #55
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What if two people are drowning in a single zone then what? The lifeguard has to make a split second decision about who is in most need of help and who he has the best odds of saving. If the lifeguard goes after Person A but Person B dies is the lifeguard at fault for not being able to be in two places at the same time?

There's no way to talk about this in broad strokes because each situation is different and ultimately comes down to a split second judgement call that will be examined under a microscope after the fact.
If there's a policy in place telling the lifeguard whom to save first, then he should save that person first. If he doesn't, he exposes his employer to a lawsuit.

I know your intent was to manufacture a hypothetical situation, as was mine - but in the scenario I posted, there's a clear policy on what the lifeguard should do, and he didn't do it. And if someone dies because he didn't follow policy, there's gonna be a lawsuit, and the company will lose.
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 10:49 AM   #56
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If there's a policy in place telling the lifeguard whom to save first, then he should save that person first. If he doesn't, he exposes his employer to a lawsuit.

I know your intent was to manufacture a hypothetical situation, as was mine - but in the scenario I posted, there's a clear policy on what the lifeguard should do, and he didn't do it. And if someone dies because he didn't follow policy, there's gonna be a lawsuit, and the company will lose.
If I lived in that town and something happened to my child I would be suing the town for allowing the lifeguards to be privatized and risking the safety of the beach goers.
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 10:54 AM   #57
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If I lived in that town and something happened to my child I would be suing the town for allowing the lifeguards to be privatized and risking the safety of the beach goers.
How does privatizing the practice affect the safety?
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 10:59 AM   #58
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How does privatizing the practice affect the safety?
The bottom line seems more important than public safety. Why not just hire more guards.
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 11:18 AM   #59
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The bottom line seems more important than public safety. Why not just hire more guards.
They could pay more lifeguards for cheaper than $334,000. By my calculations, the four lifeguards cost about $120,000 assuming they're out there 10 hours a day, 365 days a year.

They privatized it to remove the liability issue, I'd imagine.
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 12:12 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Tomorrow View Post
I believe that's true in many cases, but sometimes it's just sensible.

Consider this possibility: your child is swimming in the lifeguard's assigned zone. The lifeguard leaves his assigned zone to save someone in a "no swimming" or "swim at your own risk" zone. Because of the lifeguard's absence, your child drowns. You later find out that the lifeguard was out of his assigned zone, where he ostensibly would have rescued your child had he been there. I don't think it's unreasonable in that case for you to bring a lawsuit against the lifeguard company. That's not being litigious, that's sensible. And the company is trying to protect itself against that sort of thing.
Perhaps you didn't read or understand the article.

He had someone cover his zone.

The owner said the firing was a "mistake" although the firing was done by his family member.
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 01:09 PM   #61
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Perhaps you didn't read or understand the article.

He had someone cover his zone.
I believe the comprehension failure is on your part, not mine.

He called for backup, true enough, but he did not wait for backup to arrive before he left. He even acknowledged this. He left his post unprotected.

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If I lived in that town and something happened to my child I would be suing the town for allowing the lifeguards to be privatized and risking the safety of the beach goers.
And yet there's no telling how many miles of beach have no lifeguards whatsoever. Whom do you sue for that?
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 04:57 PM   #62
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And yet there's no telling how many miles of beach have no lifeguards whatsoever. Whom do you sue for that?
This is rhetorical, right?

God of course.

No one is ever the sole blame for their mishaps.
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 05:26 PM   #63
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This is rhetorical, right?

God of course.

No one is ever the sole blame for their mishaps.
I'm demonstrating the silliness of the notion that a public entity must provide lifeguards at all. Some is certainly better than none.
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 09:27 PM   #64
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The bottom line seems more important than public safety. Why not just hire more guards.
Higher taxes. Technically, you could put a lifeguard every 10 metres along the entire Florida/Connecticut coast, 24/7, each equipped with boat. Would you want to pay for this though?
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Old Jul 8, 2012, 11:41 PM   #65
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Higher taxes. Technically, you could put a lifeguard every 10 metres along the entire Florida/Connecticut coast, 24/7, each equipped with boat. Would you want to pay for this though?
Here in CT and most likely everywhere else the beach season is Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

There is no need to have guards at private beaches or at every stretch of coastline but where there are guarded beaches how many guards is enough?
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Old Jul 9, 2012, 10:28 AM   #66
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Here in CT and most likely everywhere else the beach season is Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.

There is no need to have guards at private beaches or at every stretch of coastline but where there are guarded beaches how many guards is enough?
I'll admit my example of a guard every 10 metres was a bit, um, extreme. But the point is same. Governments are always balancing the finite resources they have (taxes) with the services their citizens want. You earlier asked "The bottom line seems more important than public safety. Why not just hire more guards." So... does nobody swim outside 'beach season"? Wouldn't public safety be better protected if there were guards posted on nice weekends outside that beach season? And weekdays too? And wouldn't public safety by improved if there were 50% more guards? I just did a quick search and found dozens of news stories of people drowning on CT beaches during the summer, including Silver Sands, Jennnings Park (near drowning) and apparently Squantz Pond can be especially dangerous. I would think increasing the number of lifeguards hired by Connecticut by a factor of at least 5 would help. But - do you want to pay for that? The difference in this case is that this is now your bottom line - your tax dollars.

For politicians, the question is often "How much (of a service) is enough?"
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Old Jul 9, 2012, 10:46 AM   #67
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If a beach is posted as a no swimming area you take your life into your own hands. There is a reason they don't want you swimming there.

If a beach was never guarded swimmers know that and swim accordingly. However if you have a beach that is guarded and people know there is a guard near by they would expect to be protected wether or not there is a guard in a zone or not. If a guard can hear a cry for help I would want him to respond reguardless if his duties.
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Old Jul 9, 2012, 11:13 AM   #68
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I believe the comprehension failure is on your part, not mine.

He called for backup, true enough, but he did not wait for backup to arrive before he left. He even acknowledged this. He left his post unprotected.

----------



And yet there's no telling how many miles of beach have no lifeguards whatsoever. Whom do you sue for that?
"Ellis told the Sun Sentinel newspaper he confirmed that no area of the beach was left unattended while Lopez assisted the swimmer."

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/05/us/flo...red/index.html

He was offered his job back because the company said the firing was a "mistake". AKA the company see that he had the area covered.

Again, your assumptions are wrong.
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Old Jul 9, 2012, 03:01 PM   #69
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If there's a policy in place telling the lifeguard whom to save first, then he should save that person first. If he doesn't, he exposes his employer to a lawsuit.
If a policy exists covering every possible scenario it would be such a thick book that everyone would already be dead by the time the 'by the numbers' riddle of who to save first was solved.

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I know your intent was to manufacture a hypothetical situation, as was mine - but in the scenario I posted, there's a clear policy on what the lifeguard should do, and he didn't do it. And if someone dies because he didn't follow policy, there's gonna be a lawsuit, and the company will lose.
It's a no win situation if you try and preplan for every contingency (which goes back to my point that every situation should be judged on its own merits).

If a swimmer 1ft on the other side of the line dies while the lifeguard does nothing then there is uproar because someone basically died on a technicality and the lifeguard, who followed company policy and watched it happen, is demonized for doing nothing. If the guard saves that person but someone inside the zone dies at the same time the lifeguard gets characterized as reckless and becomes the fall guy. The least worst scenario is that an arbitrary rule is broken but no one dies.

Like I said before, just because someone dies swimming in the ocean (which is inherently risky) doesn't mean someone less is automatically criminally negligent. No one is going to guarantee your safety 100% just because there is a lifeguard on duty.
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Old Jul 9, 2012, 09:27 PM   #70
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I think his point was if your child was just beyond the farthest zone boundary away from shore would you be understanding if the life guard nearest your child's position did nothing because the zone extended X meters away from shore and your child was X+2.
Ah, thanks.

I would imagine that, as a parent, anyone would wish for more to be to save their child. However, as I've said before, what of the parent who's child may be drowning within the guard's zone while the guard is away? The same situation extends to paramedics--they will not enter a dangerous scene, even if the casualty is nearby.

Life has many such situations and it's up to the person involved to make the final decision--in the situation--of what they will do and should do; that decision is usually based on full knowledge of proper procedure, and the risks involved.
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Old Jul 9, 2012, 09:53 PM   #71
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The closest victim was the person he ran to help. Your statement holds no water (pun not intended).
It seems that you're being purposefully obtuse. You've taken a portion of a question of a hypothetical situation and mashed it into a place in a real situation where it dos not belong. By your logic (as displayed above) if the closest victim was fifteen minutes away across the bay then it would be proper for the guard to go to that victim. You're not seriously suggesting such a thing, are you?

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Not to mention you are forgetting the lifeguard left his post to go save a life, something a life guard is supposed to do.
I'm not forgetting anything. And a lifeguard is not supposed to help anyone, anywhere while on duty. Take, for example, the situation of an indoor pool enclosed within glass walls. The lifeguard sees someone on the outer side drop to the ground for no apparent reason. What do you think the lifeguard should do? What if the guard is the only person staffing the pool? What if there is a backup guard on off-rotation in the office? What if the other person is the pool manager but he's gone off the recreational complex office to finish some photocopies? (This is one of the many hypothetical question I pose to my candidates when we discuss "lifeguarding and the law" and "Lifeguarding ethics").

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Logic wins here.
Yes it does. We have policy and procedure for a reason. We have standards for a reason. We have certification bodies and international conferences on standards, procedures, statistics, and best practices for a reason.

What you suggest isn't logic. It's emotional. The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but you're approaching this situation from the latter, while claiming the former.

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You see a drowning person, you rescue them even if it means ignoring a silly rule.
A silly rule to you. Do know why the rule is in place? Do you have any experience lifeguarding? Have you ever studied the theory of lifeguarding, or the practice of lifeguarding? Do you have any idea of why a lifeguard may need kick a victim in the chest or face (this one I ask simply because it is also something that seems "logical" and "simple" that a lifeguard would never do)?

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Again, this lifeguard acted correctly, the situation had a positive outcome, and his employers need to hang their head in shame.
He may have acted correctly if he waited for cover from his adjacent guard; however, you seem ill-qualified to make such a blanket conclusion.
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Old Jul 9, 2012, 10:05 PM   #72
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Privatizing life isn't something to go kudos for. If you got an emergency you go for it. If another one happens, you try to make best with what you have. Prioritizing people due to zones is going to a moral dilemma.
But we already prioritize people based on zones and more. We prioritize people based on injury (triage) and it isn't always based on most severe = highest priority. We prioritize based on jurisdiction (which is equal to zones). We prioritize based on location, usually where closest = first, despite level of injury.

Just something to think about while pondering the moral dilemma (which I agree exists, but it isn't as clear-cut as some here believe).
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 12:23 AM   #73
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Fire the company as clearly they are idiots and save their overhead. Likely they were hired because of some sweetheart deal in the first place. Let an existing governmental agency run the program.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 12:34 AM   #74
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But we already prioritize people based on zones and more. We prioritize people based on injury (triage) and it isn't always based on most severe = highest priority. We prioritize based on jurisdiction (which is equal to zones). We prioritize based on location, usually where closest = first, despite level of injury.

Just something to think about while pondering the moral dilemma (which I agree exists, but it isn't as clear-cut as some here believe).
Triage is not the same here. Triage focuses limited medical resources (staff, supplies) on the worst cases first.

Levels of jurisdiction are also a different level.

We are talking about a drowning man. Jurisdictions and triage are not at play here, so it is pointless to compare them both.
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 05:41 AM   #75
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I guess the correct title should be "Fireguard fired for doing his duty but probably not his job"
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