Wanneroo Lifeguards bring regular patron back to life

16 October 2020

Day one of the school year was anything but ordinary for the staff at Wanneroo Aquamotion this year, with lifeguards called upon to save the life of one of their regular patrons.

City of Wanneroo Facilities Specialist Daniel Webb says the drama unfolded just as their Nifty Fifties class was wrapping up. “That’s our seniors program where they do exercise in our 25m lap pool. They have great music, a great instructor and everyone had a really good time. One of our participants, Bruce, came out of the pool, started speaking with the other customers then suddenly dropped down to the ground!”

Lifeguards James Roper and Rianna Matulin responded immediately, making their way over to Bruce where they found he was not breathing and turning blue. Daniel says the lifeguards immediately implemented their training. “James started resuscitation while Rianna went to get the defibrillator and other equipment, and Kellie phoned triple zero before clearing the pools to ensure other patrons were safe.”

After four rounds of CPR and one shock from the defib, Bruce began breathing so the staff turned him into the recovery position and monitored him until an ambulance arrived. Daniel says it was a moment of great relief for all involved “The highlight for the whole team, which really gave us a big laugh in such a stressful time, was when we asked if he had any allergies and he said ‘Yes, my wife’, so we knew he was back to his old self! The team really did an amazing job, with James leading the way.”

Without the quick response of the staff, Bruce may not have survived, and his remarkable recovery can be attributed to the ongoing training pool lifeguard staff receive and their timely actions on the day of the incident. Daniel says the team is every grateful that Bruce is still part of their Aquamotion family. “Bruce hasn’t trained for quite some time, but he still comes down to support his wife and it's just great to see him at the aquatic centre. I think that when you’ve been involved in something like that you just have a real bond with that person, knowing you were there when their life was saved.”

For their quick actions to save Bruce’s life James Roper and Rianna Matulin recently received a Royal Life Saving Gold Star Bravery Award, while Kellie Field received a Bravery Commendation. We congratulate them all for their outstanding efforts.

If you know someone who has acted to save the life of someone else why not nominate them for a Royal Life Saving Bravery Award. You can find out more and complete the nomination form at the link below.

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