2018 Bravery Awards - HBF Stadium Lifeguards

2 November 2018
In early November of last year, towards the end of the Stadium Masters Swim Club’s training session, Lesley Murphy - a 70-year old swimmer who had recently joined the club - felt ill while in the water.

Fortunately, coach Tricia Summerfield was close by and responded to a distressed call from Lesley who was propped at the pool side. Realising that Lesley was obviously unwell, Tricia turned to call for the help of the duty lifeguard, Roko, who was on his first lifeguard shift at the time! Lesley managed to get out of the water before rolling onto her back and becoming unconscious.

Helen Loake – a club member who had been training in the session - quickly made her way to Lesley and applied CPR after realising that she was not breathing. Another nearby lifeguard, Erica, radioed a Code Blue and began commencing the DRSABCD procedure, while Roko went to get a defibrillator and Chris went to grab a first aid bag. HBF Stadium reception were notified of the incident and called an ambulance.

Helen later remarked, ‘I was involved in an incident 2 months prior, in that instance I wasn’t very calm, but with this incident I was well prepared and knew what exactly what to do. I’m involved in surf lifesaving and have undertaken a load of training which proved to be vital in assisting Lesley.’
‘The repeated training kicked in, I remained very calm, acted confidently and knew exactly what to do in this situation.’
When Roko returned Erica was performing CPR, but Lesley was still unconscious. The pair then put Lesley on oxygen and applied the defibrillator, but there were still no signs of life. The ambulance arrived within minutes and paramedics took over treatment, eventually managing to regain a pulse, before taking Lesley to hospital.

Medical staff at the hospital stated that they were impressed with the speed and condition in which the patient was delivered to them. It was clear at the time that Lesley’s situation was grave. She was operated on almost immediately, and discharged from hospital 8 days later, weak but alive thanks to the actions of all those involved!

Helen remains humble in the light of being awarded for her lifesaving actions, remarking ‘I didn’t expect to be nominated for an award – the greatest award, the thing that fills me with a great deal of pride, is seeing Lesley back in the water swimming again with confidence.’
‘I recommend everybody get a basic CPR qualification because you never know when you’re going to need it – the more qualified you are in saving a life the better prepared you are in every lifesaving situation.’
The speed and competence of Helen’s actions, and the way in which the pool lifeguards also responded in a calm and professional manner, doubtless contributed to the good outcome for Lesley.

The Royals commend the lifesaving skills of all the brave awardees: Lifeguards Erica, Roko and Chris received the Gold Star Bravery Award and Helen was awarded the Gold Medallion Bravery Award.

If you wish to nominate someone for next year’s Bravery Awards, please follow the steps by clicking the link below.

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