Green Zone Gym members and staff awarded for saving life of passerby

6 December 2019
In June this year, Tony Morgan was on a Saturday shift at the Green Zone Gym in Warwick where he works, when a gym member came in to say a man had fallen over outside. Another gym member, Cathryne Casarsa, had noticed the man was unconscious on the footpath and had responded by rolling him over into the recovery position before calling for assistance.

Tony went outside to investigate and saw that the victim “was a bit white and purple, gasping for air.” He went back inside to grab the gym’s defibrillator and was followed back out by fellow staff member Joe Broadbent, who was working at the gym’s reception desk at the time, as well as gym user Melissa Grey, who had realised an emergency was unfolding and wanted to help.

The group immediately commenced CPR, with Joe taking the lead by performing compressions while Melissa delivered breaths. Tony cut the man’s t-shirt off while Cathryne prepared the defibrillator and applied it to the man’s chest. The group performed CPR for around 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived, shocking the man three times with the defibrillator.

Melissa Gray receiving her award from Mark Folkard, MLA for Burns Beach and Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive AmbassadorTony also did some “crowd control to calm the situation down a bit… I’m not sure if it was his grandson or son, but there was a little boy standing there about 4 or 5 [years old]. I took him into the creche in the gym and asked a staff member to get him a drink of water and get him away from the situation.”

“The defib shocked him [the victim] a few times and when the ambulance came they said he had come back to life and he was talking. We got a report back from the hospital about what happened to his heart – because of the defib, it was able to say exactly what had happened. Last we heard, he was in hospital, he was fine and the defib saved his life.”

Tony, Joe, Cathryne and Melissa were each awarded a Gold Medallion Bravery Award for their heroic effort to save a stranger. They responded calmly and rationally and displayed excellent cooperation, ultimately managing to save the man’s life.

Tony says he was exhausted and a bit shaken up afterwards. “We all just kind of came together after and had a chat and said ‘what just happened’ kind of thing. I just said, well done, go home and look after yourselves.”

Tony attributes his CPR training to helping him know what to do in the situation and put it into action. “It was good, I had just re-done my CPR about a month before, and so in my head was ‘defib’. I didn’t even know what a defib was before I did my first CPR course about four years ago.”

He believes it’s important for everyone to have some kind of CPR or first aid training. “Just seeing that guy there not breathing – if you had have known after that there was something that could have saved him, and you didn’t do it, then you’d be kicking yourself.” He offers this advice to anyone who might find themselves in a similar situation – “Keep calm and do what you can. Keep your first aid up to scratch.”

If you want to learn CPR and how to save someone’s life, or if you need to refresh your skills, enrol in a course today:

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Pictured above: Melissa Grey receiving her award from Mark Folkard, Member for Burns Beach and Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive Ambassador