Lifesaving staff praised as two men collapse at leisure centre

Staff members at a village leisure centre have been praised after saving the lives of two men.

Paramedics were called to Impulse Leisure Chanctonbury, in Storrington, twice in the space of four days after two men collapsed while taking part in classes.

A 69-year-old man, who is a regular user of the gym, was completing an exercise class yesterday evening (January 16). He began struggling for breath towards the end of the session and collapsed.

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Duty officer Rob Nicholson, fitness instructor Chris Allen, and recreation assistant Emma Mathews, rushed to his aid and started administering CPR. He went into cardiac arrest and after two more attempts to revive him using CPR the staff members used an on-site defibrillator. The man regained consciousness and paramedics arrived moments later.

The Air Ambulance also attended and landed in a nearby field.

He received further treatment at the scene before being taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton.

On Friday (January 13) another man was also taken ill at the centre.

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The 54-year-old collapsed during one of his regular personal training sessions in the gym.

He stopped breathing and Mr Allen, along with the help of a doctor using the gym, began CPR.

The man regained consciousness and was taken to Worthing Hospital for further treatment.

Three other staff members -Ellie Wilson Pike, Rick Ollier Howard and Adam Homewood- also helped save the man’s life.

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Jez Charlton, centre manager of Impulse Leisure Chanctonbury, said: “All of our centres are equipped with defibrillators and our staff undergo regular lifesaving training to prepare them for these type of incidents, but to have two in such quick succession is extremely rare.

“We are immensely proud of our staff; they acted with complete professionalism and we are all delighted that the two men are now recovering.”

A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Service added: “We are grateful for the assistance provided by anyone at the leisure centre by staff, members of the public and the doctor at the scene.

“We would like to praise the efforts of those at the scene in the minutes before our arrival.”

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