Skip to comments.Lifeguard gets bill [for $2,583] after ocean rescue
Posted on 08/02/2012 6:03:00 PM PDT by grundle
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Seventeen-year-old John Clark, a senior at Hudson's Bay, says he didn't think twice about running into the ocean to save a drowning 12-year-old.
But what he hasn't stopped thinking about, is the bill he received as a result of his effort.
What started at Rockaway Beach
The guardian angel is busy this week teaching Boy Scouts to tie knots. It's a far cry from the sand at Rockaway Beach nearly a month ago -- when John Clark heard screams for help from a 12-year-old swept out to sea.
The call for help came just five days after Clark had been certified as a lifeguard.
"He had to do something," said Dan Clark, John's dad.
So John Clark dove in -- through the breakers and heavy swells -- to reach the boy in the ocean. Then he calmed the boy down, and kept him afloat.
"I don't know exactly how big the swells were," Clark said, "but they were big enough to push both of us underwater -- all the way down to where we were touching sand."
Jet skis arrived and pulled both of them to shore.
John had a headache, and the 12-year-old was wrapped in a blanket to warm up. Into the ambulance they both went.
'When we got the bill it was a shock'
Clark thought the trip to Tillamook General Hospital was standard procedure; he didn't give it a second thought until several weeks later ... when the bill arrived.
"I am extremely proud of him," his dad tells KOIN. "When we got the bill it was a shock."
The emergency room bill came to $449. The physician's bill was $227. The 15-mile ride in the ambulance to Tillamook: $1,907. The total bill for saving a young man's life? Nearly $2,600.
"I had a feeling there would be a bill," Clark said. "But I didn't know how much it would be, and I kind of feel bad for the fact that it's so expensive. But I couldn't just let the kid go -- I had to do something."
John Clark is a lifeguard at the Firstenburg Community Center pool and the Marshall Community Center in Vancouver. He's the youngest of nine kids; his family is trying to make arrangements to get the bill paid.
The way things are done—would have been better for the hero money-wise to allow the kid to drown—hero’s conscience would not have allowed it.
Where are the kid’s parents? Aren’t they going to help out?
Did he embarrass the unionized lifeguards or something?
So exactly why is it the lifeguards bill when it was the 12 year old drowning swimmer that had the medical attention? What am I missing here? If I stop to help a stranger with their car broke down am I liable for a tow and mechanics bill?
They and/or their insurance should have been billed in the first place. The lifeguard and his family should just ignore the charges. No collection agency will try to collect from them. They don't owe it.
The drowning kid's parent were probably Kennedys. They don't pay for squat.
Could workman’s comp figure into this in any way?
I recently went through EMT training. I had to do two shifts with an ambulance service. What I already knew but had reinforced was this: if you are not actually in the process of dying, don’t call the ambulance. You probably won’t get to the hospital any quicker (at least where I live) and you will get a bill for around $600 to $700. In my very limited experience, the ambulance may very well be tied up taking someone to the hospital who “doesn’t feel good”.
They told him he should be looked at.....I call it hawking for business.
Whoever called the ambulance owes the bill. If the kid didn’t call the ambulance and didn’t approve the charge, he owes nothing for the ride.
Where are the kids parents? Arent they going to help out?
I am (well I used to be) sure someone will do the right thing here - is this the one where he left his ‘station’ and got fired for his efforts?
But if you do have a problem, they will see you in the ER right away if you come in an ambulance, while it may be 3-4 hours if you are driven in. (Besides, we live in a rural area, and pay an annual subscription. Haven’t used it yet, by God’s grace....)
I don’t see a problem with this story one bit. He did save a kid which is great but he went to the hospital and needs to pay up. What does he think? He should get to go free? People do things everyday that are considered great and end up in the hospital and must pay for the bill or the insurance company. Goodness what is going on with America when we have people complaining about such things. I guess he is a big government lover who expects the tax payer to pay his bill.
Whoever called the ambulance owes the bill.
Why? If you call the cops do you owe attorneys fees for someone that gets arrested?
It appears this article is either blatantly pimping for the kid's bill to get paid, or is just horribly written (sound familiar?).
At no place does it say he was WORKING as a lifeguard, only that he is one elsewhere. Therefore, he was not in official capacity, only as a good sam.
Also, it does not say if the 12 yo was also charged.
A pox on crappy journalists.
He went to the ER adn was checked out. Sorry, but he pays.
READ the article. The lifeguard complained of a headache and also went to the hospital. I’m sure the 12 year olds family were billed too.
Me thinks this article is a sympathy play for the hospital to forgo the bill. I guess we will see.