Praise for sports centre staff’s life-saving skills

Rotary Club of West Wight and The May Lady Tennyson Memorial Ambulance Trust have both jointly funded a new defibrillator West Wight Sports and Community Centre after staff used the previous one to save the life of a swimmer during the summer

wwsc defib

Michael shares this latest news from West Wight Sports & Community Centre. Ed


Les Welsh’s life was saved due to the quick actions of staff at West Wight Sports & Community Centre who used their CPR training together with the defibrillator kept on site to resuscitate him. Now due to a generous donation, the defibrillator which saved Les’ life has been upgraded to one which is accessible to even those not trained in CPR.

It was during a busy day in the school summer holidays this year, whiledefibrilator Les Welsh was swimming, that he was taken ill and needed immediate medical assistance.

Lifeguard and duty officer, Joy Mowle was in the pool with Les at the time and immediately alerted lifeguards Angus Arnold (22) and Molly Fennimore (16 – who incidentally was only on her third ever lifeguard duty). Angus entered the pool to assist Joy, whilst Molly alerted the rest of the staff team and activated the Centre’s emergency procedure.

Staff instantly took control
Mrs Welsh, Les’s wife who had been watching from the spectator area, said,

“I could see he had turned grey and didn’t look well at all. I was obviously very worried, but the staff instantly took control of the situation.”

Centre Manager, Clare Griffin said,

“It was a particularly busy day at the centre, but I was so proud of how the staff reacted in this situation. There is no question that Les was very lucky and that our staff saved his life.

“The team did exactly what we train to do and everybody took up the roles exactly as we’ve trained on so many occasions. Because the Centre was already so busy one quick thinking staff member even text off duty staff to come and assist in keeping the Centre operating while we carried out CPR and then waited for the ambulance to arrive.

“We train as a team every month and all our lifeguards and instructors are first aid and CPR trained. In 35 years of working in the leisure industry, I’ve been trained in CPR, but never had to do it for real. It’s a credit to our excellent trainers – Michelle Moon and Bob Hallam – that everyone knew exactly what to do without hesitation.”

Can’t thank the team enough
Les has a lighter-hearted account of the day saying,

“I don’t really remember what happened! I just woke up in hospital and started telling jokes to the doctors and nurses. But I can’t thank the team of West Wight Sports & Community Centre enough!”

Les has since made a full recovery and still uses West Wight Sports & Community Centre on a regular basis along with his wife, Pat.

Defibrillator upgraded
Following the use of the defibrillator on Les, it became apparent that it was in need of upgrading. As a charity, West Wight Sports & Community Centre were in no position to fund this and so approaches were made to the Rotary Club of West Wight and The May Lady Tennyson Memorial Ambulance Trust.

Both organisations agreed to jointly fund the new community defibrillator as well as a training device.

John Awty of Tennyson Ambulance said,

“We felt this was a really important donation as the defibrillator quite simply save lives. Along with the Rotary we had actually donated the previous defibrillator about 15 years ago, but after being used on Les it needed upgrading so we only felt right to give the money for this new one.”

William McClintock of West Wight Rotary added,

“Both organisations split the donation of £1500 which was enough to buy a new defibrillator as well as a training unit so that all members of staff and others in the community can be trained in using this vital piece of lifesaving equipment.”

Wednesday, 29th November, 2017 3:44pm

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Filed under: Freshwater, Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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