Local lifeguards honoured for saving woman’s life

18 July 2017

A team of lifeguards from Western Swimming Pool who helped to save the life of a swimmer have been honoured by the Royal Life Saving Society UK.

Three lifeguards from the Derby Road centre – Breesha Laing, Stephanie Brew and Kirstyn Horne – as well as assistant manager Phil Littlejohns have each received a Certificate of Meritorious Lifeguards from the UK’s drowning prevention charity in honour of their outstanding efforts.

The team spotted a female swimmer getting into difficulty during a gentle aquafit session for seniors and helped her out of the pool. The woman was unable to talk, her face had fallen on one side and she then collapsed. The team identified that the woman was suffering a stroke and called an ambulance.

The woman’s condition quickly deteriorated and she stopped breathing. The team immediately began to administer CPR and continued to do so until she started breathing again. A paramedic arrived 15 minutes later and helped the team with CPR until the ambulance arrived.

The lady was taken to hospital where she is recovering. Her daughter has since visited the centre to personally thank the lifeguards for their actions.

“We’re delighted that the lifeguard team from Western Swimming Pool has been honoured in this way. They instinctively sprung into action and performed extremely well backed by other colleagues who looked after the lady’s husband and other swimmers in the pool while the lifeguards were occupied,” says Mike Ferguson, National Trainer/Assessor on the Isle of Man.

“Our lifeguards are trained to deal with precisely these sorts of situations and I’m very proud of how they performed on the day. Our thoughts are now with the lady and her family and we wish her a speedy recovery.”

Director at RLSS UK, Martin Symcox, said: “We were pleased to recognise the team from Western Swimming Pool who used their training and skills to the highest standard. They should be extremely proud of their actions and we are pleased to hear that the lady is recovering.”

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IQL UK is the trading subsidiary of The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity.

RLSS UK is the UK’s leading provider of training and education in lifesaving, lifeguarding, water safety and life support skills in the UK.  It is also the governing body for Lifesaving Sport.

Through IQL UK, there are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK. IQL UK also offers the National Pool Management Qualification and First Aid at Work qualifications as part of its portfolio.

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the charity aims to prevent drowning and promote water safety education through campaigns and its lifesaving programmes.

RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range of lifesaving skills ranging from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills. Programmes include Rookie Lifeguard (for eight to12-year–olds), Survive and Save (for 12 years+) and Save a Baby’s Life (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).

The RLSS UK (then the Life Saving Society) was formed in 1891. In 1904, as there was great support for the organisation from the Royal Family, the society was granted permission to use the Royal title and became the Royal Life Saving Society.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Porcha Treanor by emailing [email protected] or calling 0300 3230 096.