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Leisure staff praised for their quick actions to save unconscious swimmer

Wiltshire Council Chief Executive, Terence Herbert has been praising the quick actions of Marlborough Leisure Centre staff, who saved a man's life when he collapsed while swimming.

Published 2 March 2022
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Wiltshire Council Chief Executive, Terence Herbert has been praising the quick actions of Marlborough Leisure Centre staff, who saved a man's life when he collapsed while swimming in January.

Dr Reg Eyre, from Lockeridge, near Marlborough, was in the swimming pool building up his fitness after being fitted with a pacemaker in November 2021.  He suddenly stopped breathing and was left floating face down in the pool. Quick thinking fellow swimmers turned Dr Eyre over, helping him to the side of the pool, where leisure centre staff were able to start cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Kirsty Brown, the Duty Manager performed lifesaving CPR and the Lifeguard Tom Peart administered a shock from the centre's defibrillator; after which a pulse was detected. They then continued to keep the casualty safe in the recovery position, monitoring breathing until paramedics and ambulance crews arrived to take over. Dr Eyre was taken to Great Western Hospital where doctors commended the quick response of the team and confirmed that there had been no water ingress into his lungs.

Dr Eyre, who is now recovering from the ordeal, said, My thanks go to the staff and swimmers at Marlborough Leisure Centre, the paramedic team and all the staff that looked after me at the hospital. I am hopeful that I can resume swimming at Marlborough before too long.

Leisure staff receive continuous, regular training to enable them to be up to date with skills and knowledge, and confident in providing lifesaving actions if called upon, as well as supporting people across the county to enjoy active lifestyles.

Terence Herbert, Chief Executive for Wiltshire Council, said, I am incredibly proud of Tom and Kirsty, and their quick response to come to Reg's aid and offer lifesaving treatment. They were able to stay calm and professional in what would have been an incredibly stressful situation.

Thankfully Reg is recovering well, but this demonstrates how important it is that our leisure staff are fully trained in first aid, and for our public buildings to have defibrillators. They can help to save lives in critical situations.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: Our centres provide a wide range of activities for many local people across Wiltshire, from young babies having their first experience of water to much older people working out to stay fit, independent and sociable.

This includes people of varying degrees of fitness level and many people who we are helping themselves back into physical activity as part of a rehabilitation programme or because they have been referred by their doctor.

Reg was using the centre to rehabilitate and increase his fitness after having heart surgery and had made staff and other swimmers aware of his situation prior to re-starting back to swimming.

We very much hope to welcome him back into Marlborough Leisure Centre as soon as he is able to return, and we're so very grateful to the quick-thinking actions of Tom and Kirsty. Their response and ability to help Reg reflects incredibly well on all our staff working hard across all of our 20 leisure centres.

Terence Herbert recently visited the centre to personally thank Tom and Kirsty and to meet Reg.

More information about Wiltshire Council leisure centres and services can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure.

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