Strangers pay lifeguard's bill after rescue

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by Kyle Iboshi

KING5.com

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 3:19 PM

VANCOUVER, Wash.-- An off-duty lifeguard never imagined he'd get a bill after saving someone. But the good Samaritan received a $2,600 ambulance bill.

He won't actually have to come up with the money to pay it, thought. Thanks to two strangers who offered to pay the bill after seeing the story on KGW-TV.

John Clark of Vancouver said he thought he was doing the right thing. The 17-year old off-duty lifeguard was relaxing with his family July 1 at Rockaway Beach, when he heard screams for help.

A 12-year-old boy was being swept out to sea.

Clark dove into the powerful surf. He managed to keep the boy afloat until rescuers on jet skis arrived.

Paramedics put both Clark and the 12-year old into an ambulance and transported them to the hospital.

Clark was checked out at the emergency room to make sure he was not suffering from hypothermia, after the time he spent in the cold water, so he was also considered a patient.

Clark didn't think much of it, until he received the bill from Tillamook General Hospital.

"I've heard that ambulances are really expensive, I never realized how much," said Clark.

Tillamook General Hospital said it is thankful for citizens who help save lives. But added in a written statement, "Those transported to the emergency department via ambulance services have done so after providing appropriate consent."

Clark said he was not upset, but he doesn't have health insurance to cover the bill, either.

"There's no monetary value to human life, I'd gladly go out and do it again," he said.

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