Hero Alton Leisure Centre lifeguards receive award

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The new leisure centre was only open for two months before it was shut for lockdown (Photo: Malcolm Wells) ()

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SAFETY training for staff at the new Alton Sports Centre paid off just 17 days after it opened at the beginning of this year.

Duty manager Lorna Moseley, from Four Marks, and a colleague who cannot be identified saved a swimmer who suffered a heart attack in the pool on January 28.

He was not breathing and had no pulse, but they administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to stabilise his condition until paramedics arrived to restart his heart with a defibrillator.

He then recovered after hospital

treatment.

Their efforts were rewarded with Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificates.

The society was founded by William Hawes and Thomas Cogan in 1774 to promote resuscitation techniques and its patron is the Queen.

Chris West, contract manager for Everyone Active, which runs the centre in partnership with East Hampshire District Council, said: “We’re proud of the efforts our team go to every day to keep our members safe, but this particular example really highlights the sheer dedication that they show towards training and improvement.

“We’re proud to say that our lifeguards can respond in the correct way when faced with a life-threatening situation, and we’re really pleased that they acted so quickly and the gentleman was able to recover as a

result.”

All Everyone Active lifeguards hold the Royal Lifesaving Society’s National Pool Lifeguard Qualification and must do two hours of CPR, first aid and rescue skills training every month.

They have to be deemed competent at every session to continue working poolside, and are also trained to use a defibrillator to give swimmers in difficulty the best chance of survival.

Within two months, the new centre was shut as part of coronavirus lockdown measures. But Everyone Active used the closure to give staff a health and safety training refresher course before reopening on August 1. They were also trained in new coronavirus protocols for managing activities and dealing with casualties.

Chris West added: “Safety at our centres is especially prevalent at the moment as we have introduced a number of new measures to ensure we adhere to social distancing and the latest guidance.”

These include asking anyone feeling ill to stay away, booking activities online or via the Everyone Active app, asking participants to arrive changed and ready to take part in their activity, restricting numbers, a one-way system, hand sanitisers, sneeze screens and cleaning in line with Public Health England guidance.

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