Team effort saves a life at Riverton Leisureplex

12 November 2020

Pool Lifeguards never know when their skills are going to be needed to save a life, both in and out of the water. That was the case in February this year when an emergency unfolded in the café area of Riverton Leisureplex.

A patron, Les Davies, collapsed and was immediately assisted by library staff member Alison Hyde and patron Reihaneh Kakaei Hafdani, who witnessed the collapse and began to perform CPR. Riverton Leisureplex Leader of Leisure Michael Gosatti says he saw the commotion from his office. “As I walked out of my office a fellow staff member called out to get the defibrillator. I ran to the first aid station and then back to the scene. I was told that a patron had collapsed, was not breathing and had no pulse. While Alison and Reihaneh continued CPR I quickly set up the defib and applied it to the patrons chest, then took over control of the scene and instructed everyone what to do following the defib’s instructions.”

Lifeguards Chris Cotton and Andreea Ioan also came to help, performing breaths and compressions for several minutes, between shocks from the defib, until an ambulance arrived. Michael says the response of everyone involved was outstanding. “Having previously been involved in a major emergency I knew how critical time was in getting the defib applied. The team responded really rapidly and worked seamlessly together to conduct CPR. Everyone had a clear role and used their skills professionally and confidently. We all communicated really well during the event and provided support to each other throughout.”

Les was taken to hospital, where he went on to make a full recovery. He attended our recent Royal Life Saving Bravery Awards event where those who saved his life were awarded for their efforts. Michael says it was fantastic to be able to catch up with Les on that day. “We didn’t know that Les was going to be present at the award ceremony and it was fantastic to see and talk to him. None of us had spoken to him since the event and he hadn’t had a chance to meet any of us. To speak to him and his wife and receive their sincere and greatest appreciation is one of the best things. Hearing his wife say that all of Les’ grandkids say thank you is one of the most rewarding and satisfying things and makes me proud and honoured.”

On a busy day, the ability of all respondents to enact a textbook resuscitation ensured that Les was given the best chance of recovery. This was an excellent collaborative response between the staff, who reacted quickly to this emergency in line with their training, and bystander Reihaneh who also stepped in to assist. For their efforts Reihaneh and Alison received the Gold Medallion Bravery Award, while Michael, Andreea and Chris received the Gold Star Bravery Award.

City of Canning Major Patrick Hall says all of those involved are an outstanding example to others. “My sincere congratulations to each of the staff involved. I know that our community will be very proud of your efforts. One thing became apparent to me as the awards were being read out - almost every one of the rescues featured people who had undertaken at least some form of first aid training, and many of the lives saved resulted from the ready availability of a defibrillator. I encourage residents to undertake first aid training. A life may one day depend on it, and that life may be that of someone you love.”

If you know someone who has been involved in saving a life, we’d love to know about it. Nominate them for a Royal Life Saving Bravery Award at the link below.

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