Three staff members from Droitwich Spa Leisure Centre were first at the scene after a 48-year-old male collapsed whilst playing squash.

On Thursday, 26 May 2022, Maddie Oswell, Casual Recreation Assistant, Sandra Webb, Duty Manager, and Dan Wilde, Recreation Assistant and Casual Duty Manager, were all working an evening shift when their lifesaving training came into play!

The three team members, all RLSS UK qualified lifeguards (NPLQ), were alerted to an incident on one of the centre’s squash courts by one of the players requesting immediate action. His opponent had collapsed, was not breathing, and his heart had stopped. Dan, Sandra, and Maddie recognised he was in Cardiac Arrest and started Immediate Basic Life Support. Resuscitation included cardiac chest compressions and attachment of the leisure centre’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED) - used three times before his heart kicked back in and he came out of cardiac arrest. Colleagues at the centre’s reception desk made the ‘999’ call and requested an ambulance.

Two Critical Care Paramedics from Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) arrived at the scene (approximately ten minutes after the call), shortly followed by the ambulance crew. The ambulance paramedics took over the resuscitation of the patient.

Paramedics and ambulance crew all thanked the leisure centre staff for their first aid and CPR actions and said that their quick reactions and achievements had given him the best chance of survival.

Critical Paramedics from Midlands Air Ambulance Charity have since nominated the leisure centre staff and their actions for MAAC Learning Independently from Excellence recognition. The nomination stated they are an absolute credit to the leisure centre and its members and deserve unequivocal praise for their actions.

Fay Pollock, Critical Care Paramedic, Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said: “The staff involved in the case truly deserve this praise, and so please do pass it on and thank them for us. Also, sincere thanks to you for arming the staff with the relevant first aid training needed to do what they did. Keep it up, and you will continue to save lives.”

Tim Kirkham, Area Manager of Wychavon Leisure, who operates the facility, added: “I am extremely proud of the staff involved in this incident. These situations can be very frightening, and they conducted the procedure calmly and efficiently. Regular staff training sessions are essential to ensure that when staff need to deliver lifesaving first aid, they can do so without hesitation and with confidence.”

The patient’s wife and daughter visited the centre the next day to thank the staff responsible for saving his life and have since informed the centre that the gentleman has had an internal defib fitted and is recovering well.

  • If you’re interested in acquiring invaluable lifesaving skills by becoming a lifeguard, find a lifeguard course near you and #BeALifesaver. There are currently over 350 NPLQ lifeguard courses in July and August across the country.
  • The National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) is a fantastic springboard for careers, from the emergency services and military to the leisure sector. #IStartedAsALifeguard
  • If you’d like to invest in a Defibrillator, visit the RLSS UK Shop to view our range. Every time you purchase from our shop, 100% of the profit goes into supporting our Charity’s vision - nations without drowning where everyone can safely enjoy being in, on or near water.
  • Please sign and share our petition to remove VAT from the cost of Automated External Defibrillators (AED). We want to help make these vital bits of kit more affordable and encourage more businesses and individuals to fund these, making them widely available and helping save lives.