When emergency situations arise at leisure centres across Perth, it’s reassuring to know that the lifeguards and aquatic managers have the first-aid skills to save a life.

When a participant collapsed in a group fitness class at HBF Stadium in Mt Claremont, Perth, lifeguard Corey Hollow was quick to put his first-aid training into action. Seeing that the man was not breathing, Corey radioed for colleague David Trotter, who arrived with a defibrillator. In the meantime, Corey had commenced CPR with the assistance of bystanders.  David arrived with the defibrillator and attached it to the casualty. The defibrillator gave an initial assessment and delivered one shock. Corey and David then continued two-operator CPR for a further two minutes until signs of life began to be noticed. The patient, Gary, was then placed in the recovery position until paramedics arrived. The paramedics took him to hospital where he spent a few days recovering from a heart attack.  The quick actions and response from the two lifeguards ensured that Gary was able to be treated quickly and made a full recovery.
According to Corey, taking part in a quality first-aid course is vital for lifeguards and aquatic managers. “I believe it is extremely important to not only know CPR but to react and put the training into practice,” he says. “You never know when you may need it.”
Altone Park Leisure Centre’s senior centre supervisor Anthony Dos Santos also realised the importance of knowing first aid when a five-year old girl was found unresponsive in the 25m pool.  Anthony was the first lifeguard to notice the girl in trouble, immediately pulling the unresponsive girl from the pool with colleague Sarah Fuller, who commenced CPR. Matthew Merritt, who was the supervisor on duty, arrived with oxygen and the defibrillator. After a short period of time, the child vomited and regurgitated a large amount of water. The child was revived by the lifeguards and commenced breathing on her own while maintaining an altered conscious state.
A quick response from multiple St John Ambulance paramedics resulted in the child being transported to PMH under priority conditions, where she made a full recovery.  According to Anthony, his first-aid training immediately kicked in, and he was able to stay calm in the emergency. “I feel it is very important to know first aid as you never know when you will need to use it,” he says. “You need to feel comfortable that you can attempt to save a loved one at any time.”
These stories of survival highlight the importance of taking part in a first-aid course that teaches practical skills that can be implemented in emergencies. Quality first-aid courses and refreshers are available in Perth through Royal Life Saving WA for just $99, and come recommended by lifeguards and aquatic managers.

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