Many in our country feel that everything should be privatized, from road repairs to our military. Somehow they feel that corporations, which exist solely to make money, are a cheaper route than the government, which of course isn’t in the profit business. It’s one of the most infuriating and mind boggling ideas out there, and we are in a time of some totally bat shit crazy ideas about government.
We have already heard the nightmares of government contractors in Iraq. We’ve also heard the nightmare stories of privately run prisons and how they are making a mockery of our already highly broken justice system. But how about something else? How about a day at the beach? What could possible go wrong there if a private business takes over, say the lifeguard duties? Well check this out:
As lifeguards are paid and trained to do, Tomas Lopez rushed down the beach to rescue a drowning man — and then got fired for it.
The problem: Lopez stepped out of the beach zone his company is paid to patrol, a supervisor said Tuesday.
“I ran out to do the job I was trained to do,” said Lopez, 21, of Davie. “I didn’t think about it at all.”
Now this story could have ended much worse, like the man drowning, but it still has a terrible ending – a man losing his job. And what is the justification for this harsh reaction by the man’s employer, who should be holding him up as a hero?
Lifeguards in Hallandale Beach work for Orlando-based company Jeff Ellis and Associates, which has been providing lifeguard services for the city’s beaches and pools since 2003.
Company officials on Tuesday said Lopez broke a rule that could’ve put beachgoers in his designated area in jeopardy. The firm could ultimately have been sued, officials said.
And this is the way companies think today. Forget human life. Instead we worry about MONEY!
two three (source) other lifeguards have stepped up and resigned in protest to the companies treatment of Lopez and apparently the company has taken notice. Now they have offered Lopez his job back, but he has declined.
Now don’t think that puts Jeff Ellis in the good guys column. See this incident happened on Monday and was reported on Tuesday. Yes we had a holiday yesterday, but it wasn’t until today that they offered Lopez his job back. Apparently the company is feeling heat and now trying to write it off as a “mistake”, so they offered Lopez his job back with the grand salary of $8.25/hr.
I could just see it now if Lopez had accepted the offer. I guarantee that Jeff Ellis would hold him up as an example of the quality employee that his company hires and why they should be the go to guys for beach safety. He would become a six digit advertising asset instantly, while making less than most fast food workers. This is how greed works and how it is destroying America.
Now what should happen is the city of Hallandale Beach, Florida, hold an emergency council meeting. They should vote to bring in their own lifeguards and terminate the contract of Jeff Ellis and Associates on the grounds that they put the life of a citizen in jeopardy. Then they should offer Lopez a job helping setup the new lifeguard program and give him a decent salary.
Why should they do this? Simple – because it is right. But it doesn’t stop there. It is also going to be needed to help save a town’s main attraction. This story has gained national attention and you can bet that people have read this and will skip the town of Hallandale Beach and go to one of the other beaches in Florida that actually have municipal lifeguards and don’t ignore areas because it’s “out of their zone”.
See, while Ellis was worried about their liability, they also risked putting their client in a high liability position and also destroy their tourist industry. This is a company I wouldn’t want to work for me and I highly doubt the people of Hallandale Beach want them working for their town either. Hopefully the town leaders will do the right thing and realize this was a failed experiment in privatization and go into their own damage control to regain the trust of residents and tourists. If they don’t then it will only be a matter of time before someone does die and a private company lifeguard sits by watching for fear of losing their job.