Lifeguards awarded for saving a life
FOR the lifeguards at Fremantle Leisure Centre it was an ordinary day at work but for Ian Mitchel, a swim at the pool nearly cost him his life.
The 72-year-old was swimming his usual laps in the pool when he had a seizure.
The next thing he remembered was waking up in an ambulance on the way to Fiona Stanley Hospital.
Three lifeguards involved in his rescue were awarded a Royal Life Saving Bravery Award last Wednesday.
One of the lifeguards involved in the rescue, Pia Rodgers, said she was patrolling the pool when she saw Mr Mitchel holding on to the lane rope and slowly starting to submerge.
“With the aid of bystanders we pulled him out onto the concourse,” she said.
“When a second lifeguard came we put oxygen and defib on him.
“After the first round of compressions he started breathing again but he was not in a good way.
“He stopped breathing again, so we did another round of compression and he started breathing again, looking much better.”
The Fremantle local said it was a privilege to receive the award.
“We were just doing our job. We have a really great team environment and we are really supportive of each other; it made a massive difference in the rescue,” she said.
A second lifeguard who assisted in the rescue, Molly Higgins, said the rescue had changed her perspective on things.
“To be able to see Ian alive and well is something I will never forget,” she said.
“It’s been quite a turning point in how I view life.
“I felt very prepared in the moment; it was just a normal shift – we went into work mode and ‘let’s get it done’.”
Ian Mitchel with lifeguards James Annetts, Pia Rodgers and Molly Higgins, who helped save his life.