Waipū Cove SLSC Awarded 2nd Place for March '22 bp Rescue of the Month

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Lifeguards’ calm, coordinated response saves man in cardiac arrest.

On the 5th of March, after a big day hosting and competing in the Northern Region IRB Champs, patrols had finished. But volunteer Lifeguards Jake, Tim and Kath were still at the club helping someone with last-minute first aid practice for the lifeguard exam the next day. 

The team was alerted by a Junior Surf parent who had driven past someone lying nearby on the roadside who looked unwell. The Lifeguards were told it appeared someone was checking for a pulse and asked if they had a defibrillator. The three responded immediately with radios, oxygen kit, (AED) and first aid bag.  

When they arrived on the scene two local volunteer Fire Brigade members, who lived nearby, had commenced CPR. The group slotted quickly into roles and everyone remained calm to execute a coordinated response with superb teamwork. Tim got straight in to assist with compressions, and inserted an oro-pharyngeal airway, while Jake assembled the bag valve mask and oxygen, and Kath radioed SurfCom and set up the AED. The three Lifeguards worked as a team, along with the two volunteer Fire Brigade members to deliver shocks, rotate chest compressions, and maintain the patient's airway and breathing.  

The group responding to the incident were then joined by more emergency services and after three shocks were delivered and many rounds of CPR, the patient was resuscitated and handed over to the ambulance who transported him to hospital.  

After the incident, the Lifeguards returned to the club to debrief the incident and receive peer support. They reflected on the great teamwork, fast response, calmness shown by all, and effective CPR technique with correct ‘rescue ready’ equipment that resulted in a life being saved. 

The Lifeguards were in touch with the family following the incident. They were told at the hospital that if it wasn't for the quick response and quality CPR that the man received at the roadside that he would be dead. He had experienced a cardiac arrest but was recovering well with a bit of a sore chest. The family said they were eternally grateful to all those involved and couldn't thank the team enough for saving the man’s life. 

bp Head of Country NZ Matt Elliott says, “bp has been proud to stand behind Surf Life Saving New Zealand and its Surf Lifeguards for 54 years. The skills and dedication shown by Surf Lifeguards in this incident highlight the challenging work Lifeguards face on and off the water while patrolling our beaches.”