Being a hero has a price — and sometimes, an actual monetary price. That’s what a Vancouver, WA lifeguard found out last month when he saved a young boy from drowning and later got a bill for his efforts.

John Clark, 17, was only five days out of lifeguard training when he was on a trip and heard a 12-year-old boy screaming for help after being pulled out by choppy ocean waves off the coast of Oregon. Clark sprang into action, swimming through the breakers and heavy swells to save him.

Both Clark and the boy were put into an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital, something the lifeguard thought was standard procedure — until he got a bill.

The emergency room and doctor’s tally came to $676, and the charges for the 15-mile ambulance ride between the beach and the hospital were a staggering $1,907. All told, Clark was on the hook for nearly $2,600.

“I had a feeling there would be a bill,” said Clark, who’s the youngest of the nine children in his family. “But I couldn’t just let the kid go — I had to do something.”

But there’s good news: after a local news station ran his story and it went viral, folks from all over the country offered to chip in, and the bills are now paid.

“People like that need to be rewarded when they do something like that,” said Floridian Philip Doyle, who was one of the benefactors. “A lot of other people would have walked away, but he did what any sensible person would do in this situation: he guarded someone’s life.”

More From 98.1 Minnesota's New Country