LIFEGUARDS leapt into action and re-started an elderly man's heart after he suffered a cardiac arrest at a swimming pool.
Paramedics rushed to Worcester Citizens Swimming Pool, in Weir Lane, Lower Wick, Worcester, shortly after 12.15pm yesterday (Friday).
Before ambulance crews arrived, staff had pulled the man, who is in his 70s, from the water.
They immediately started CPR and, using a defibrillator, managed to restart the his heart.
The swimmer, who is a regular at the pool, was rushed to Worcestershire Royal Hospital for further treatment, but no update was available about his condition at the time of going to press.
About a dozen other swimmers, who were using the pool at the time, were evacuated and the centre was shut for a number of hours.
Blade West, lifeguard and swimming teacher, pulled the man out of the pool and raised the alarm.
"I picked him up, out of the water and shouted for help," said the 20-year-old, from Lower Wick.
"I asked two other customers for help supporting him on the side while I quickly hit the alarm.
"I checked his breathing – there was no breathing. I followed with CPR."
Other team members, including assistant manager Karen Keenan, quickly arrived with the defibrillator and began further life-saving treatment.
"This is what we train for," Mr West added. "Adrenaline takes over and you go into auto-mode. We have found out that he is sat up with his eyes open."
Mrs Keenan, 35, from Cheltenham, said: "The team did a fantastic job, there were five of us.
"There team were out within seconds. We reacted quickly, got everything going I can't fault the team – they did brilliantly.
"We all agreed the speed is probably what saved him.
"I am grateful for the training, grateful we have got an AED (automated external defibrillator) and, most importantly, that the gentleman is okay.
"He is a regular customer and we care about the customers who come here."
Duty managers Darren Carswell and Tracy Goodwin and lifeguard Rosie Hogg also performed CPR and used the defibrillator.
Swimming pool manager Andrew Massey, who was celebrating his 55th birthday, alerted West Midlands Ambulance Service.
An ambulance and a rapid response paramedic were on the scene within around 10 minutes.
A spokesman for the ambulance service praised the pool staff for their actions.
They said: "We praise the leisure centre staff for starting CPR and using a defibrillator as early intervention in cardiac arrest gives patients the best chance of survival."
West Mercia Police was called to the incident at 12.15pm.