Hero receives award for life-saving skills

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A life-saver has been rewarded for his quick-thinking after he used a defibrillator to resuscitate a man who had collapsed at a gym in Hadleigh.

Piers Merryweather will be presented with a National Lifesaver Defibrillator Award this evening at an event being held to acknowledge life-savers in the community.

The 21-year-old was the duty manager at Hadleigh Pool and Leisure Centre in May last year when a man collapsed in the gym.

After instructing staff to call an ambulance, he asked a lifeguard to fetch a defibrillator.

Mr Merryweather began CPR and administered the defibrillator after he was unable to detect a pulse or any signs of breathing.

An off-duty nurse, who happened to be taking a fitness class at the time, offered to help with CPR, allowing himself and Mr Merryweather to take turns in carrying out chest compressions.

An ambulance arrived with two paramedics, who were able to stabilise his condition and take him to Ipswich Hospital.

The paramedics praised Mr Merryweather and the rest of the staff for their actions, saying that, without their help, the man would have died.

General manager Mick Packer said on-site training rarely prepares someone for the seriousness of a real lifesaving scenario.

“In the leisure industry, staff are given many health and safety-related training courses and sometimes go their whole career without ever being involved in any incidents of this nature,” he said.

“For a relatively new member of staff to carry out this life save using his skills and knowledge in such a professional manner is an outstanding achievement.”

Mr Merryweather, who recently left Hadleigh Pool and Leisure to pursue a career with the RAF, will receive the award from the national cardiac charity Sads UK.