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Jul 5, 2012 8:11 AM by Good Morning America

RANT: Lifeguard fired after saving a swimmer outside his jurisdiction

Lifeguard Tommy lopez had trained for this very moment, when he would need to save a life. His reward tuesday? The pink slip.

The 21 year old knowingly violated a rule that forbids guards from a privately-run lifeguard company from leaving their station to help a swimmer.

A spokesperson for lifeguard contractor says, "we have liability issues and can't go out of the protected area."

"I knew I broke the rules. I knew I made my decision by picking the guy over my job," says Lopez.

But the policy that got Tommy fired, backfired. Tommy's fellow life guards, leaving en masse, in disgust.

"Nothing can make that sound right, that it's wrong to go save someone," says former lifeguard Zoard Janko.

This morning, seven life guards have quit or been fired over this rule. Only a single rank and file guard remains and the group now hopes the policy or the company with the lifeguard contract will be changed.

Watch the full report on Good Morning America here.

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