UK honour for life-saving duo

Douglas Harvey and Barry Leslie with the life-saving defibrillation equipment at Newbattle Pool
Douglas Harvey and Barry Leslie with the life-saving defibrillation equipment at Newbattle Pool

staff at a Midlothian swimming pool have been recognised for helping save the life of an elderly man.

Duty manager Douglas Harvey and lifeguard Barry Leslie, who work at Newbattle Pool, grabbed a first-aid kit and defibrillator and raced to the pensioner, who had collapsed after suffering a heart attack outside the pool in April.

He was first kept alive by quick-thinking local schoolboy Gareth Fleming, who used CPR techniques he had previously learned as a volunteer lifeguard at Newbattle Pool.

Douglas, Barry and leisure centre operations manager Jim Learmonth attended the UK Heart Safe Awards 2012 in Manchester last week.

Newbattle Pool was shortlisted for best practice in heart safety following the key role played by the employees in helping save the man’s life.

Recalling the incident, Douglas said: “We’d both been thoroughly trained in the use of the defibrillator and that training really kicked in when the emergency happened.

“I’m just so pleased we were able to help save the gentleman’s life.

“I also want to pay tribute to young Gareth Fleming.

“Were it not for his quick thinking and CPR skills, there could have been a very different outcome.

“It shows the importance of encouraging people to take first aid and CPR classes.”

Councillor Bob Constable, leader of Midlothian Council, said: “I am delighted to see Newbattle Pool recognised for its investment in life-saving equipment and training.

“Defibrillators save lives and Newbattle Pool is one of a growing number of council facilities where defibrillators are now installed and staff trained to use them.”