Saving a life is all in a Day’s Work for the team at Manly Boy Charlton Aquatic Centre

by Louise Magee on November 04, 2020

Featured in the picture from the Manly team Left to right: Sandra Gallo, Scott Riddington, Paul Demidjuk , Fabrizio Terlizzi, Sam Le Geyt and Steve Neville

The Lifeguarding team at Manly Boy Charlton Aquatic Centre are to be commended having demonstrated how teamwork, professionalism and a high standard of training are imperative to patron safety and emergency care.

Following the Manly Masters swim event on a Sunday morning, one of the regular swimmers had finished an event and taken a seat reporting to his fellow swimmers he wasn't feeling well. A few minutes later as he stood up and collapsed and fell, hitting his head, on the pool deck as a result of suffering a major cardiac arrest.

The Aquatic Centre was very busy with patrons in all five pools that morning. The lifeguarding team led by Scott ‘Bird’ Riddington sprang into action to attend to the patient. The team quickly cleared all pools, called the emergency services, and put their Emergency Action Plan into place.

The patient was initially not breathing, had no pulse and was grey in colour. After initial assessment, Bird commenced CPR and was quickly joined by fellow lifeguards Paul Demidjuk, Sam Le Geyt & Zoe Carley whom had brought the Defibrillator & O2. The team worked quicky to get O2 and Defib on the patient and worked efficiently to ensure communication was clear and correct procedures followed despite the very busy and noisy conditions. The patient received 1 shock from the Defib and immediately regained consciousness. He was treated on the scene by Lifeguards until paramedics arrived shortly thereafter.

Incidents like this remind us that it is not just the Lifeguards who have a role to play in actioning the Emergency Action Plan. All staff on shift that morning played a crucial part in the successful recovery of the patient, from securing the venue to prevent additional patrons entering the facility, to relaying over the phone to 000, clearing the pools, and reassuring the bystanders.

MABC’s Coordinator of Swim Centre Operations Jon Colwell who was on leave at the time of the incident said he was very proud of the team for implementing the Emergency Action Plan which has been practiced numerous times during internal staff training.

A BIG congratulations to the team at Manly and all who played a part in saving a life:

Scott ‘Bird’ Riddington, Paul Demidjuk, Sam Le Geyt, Zoe Carley, Steve Neville, Hayley Campbell, Fabrizio Terlizzi, Sandra Gallo, Sarah McPhail and Anabel Bergman.