Man’s life saved at Worthing’s David Lloyd gym after medical incident

The David Lloyd Centre Worthing
The David Lloyd Centre Worthing

The commander of Worthing Fire Station has helped save the life of a man who collapsed while at the gym.

Roy Barraclough was doing a body pump class at David Lloyd in Romany Road, Worthing, on the afternoon of Sunday, December 29, when it was evacuated due to the emergency incident.

Worthing station manager Roy Barraclough. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

Worthing station manager Roy Barraclough. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

The first-aid trained firefighter rushed over to help the man – and thanks to Roy and staff at the gym, he is recovering in hospital.

Roy, of Mersham Gardens, Goring, said: “I don’t think it is controversial to say that early intervention saved his life.”

The man, in his fifties, had collapsed onto a nearby running machine in the main gym area, injuring his head in the process, according to Roy.

When Roy got there, a quick-thinking member of the gym’s management had got a nearby defibrillator and begun using it on the man.

He had also started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, known as CPR, which combines breathing into the patient’s mouth and chest compressions to keep blood flowing until the heart can be restarted.

Roy and the staff member took turns in giving CPR after the ambulance service was called. By the time paramedics had arrived, the man was conscious.

Roy said: “The staff did an excellent job.

“To put it in perspective, I have had 15 to 20 situations in my service where I have had to do this, and I haven’t saved any of them until now.”

Roy, who marked 40 years as a firefighter in December, said this was a perfect example of why all gyms should have a defibrillator and urged the public to do first aid training.

According to the South East Coast Ambulance Service, the man was then taken into Worthing Hospital for further treatment.

Richard Airey, spokesman for the South East Coast Ambulance Service, said: “This was great work from everyone at the scene, so thank you for acting so quickly.”