Life-saving staff at Bakewell Swimming Pool

Pictured with Lee Rathbone (left) and Dave Pryor holding a thank you card from the Berrecloth family is receptionist Erica Power, who made the 999 call.
Pictured with Lee Rathbone (left) and Dave Pryor holding a thank you card from the Berrecloth family is receptionist Erica Power, who made the 999 call.

A Derbyshire Dales woman has praised quick-thinking leisure staff who brought her husband “back from the dead”.

Ellen Berrecloth was visiting Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Bakewell Swimming Pool with her daugher and granddaughter last Friday when her husband, 81-year-old David Berrecloth, collapsed in the main reception area.

Pool duty manager Lee Rathbone and colleague Dave Pryor responded immediately, using a defibrillator and the kiss of life to revive Mr Berrecloth after it became evident that he had stopped breathing.

Speaking this week after the condition of her husband improved in hospital, Mrs Berrecloth, of Rowland, near Bakewell, said: “The way the lads responded was absolutely fantastic. Without them he wouldn’t be here today. They brought him back to life.

“It might seem a strange thing to say, but my husband couldn’t have picked a better place to collapse!”

Mr Berrecloth had planned to watch as his wife, daugher and eight-year-old granddaughter, who were visiting from Suffolk, swam in the pool.

Said Lee Rathbone: “When I got the shout from a colleague to say someone had collapsed in main reception, the first aid training all Derbyshire Dales District Council leisure staff receive kicked in straightaway.

“I rolled the gentleman onto his side in the recovery position, but after a short while his facial colour started to change so I placed him onto his back, opened the airway and checked his breathing. There were no signs of life so I shouted for the defibrillator, unzipped the gentleman’s jacket and cut through his vest with scissors.”

Colleague Dave Pryor rushed the defibrillator from poolside and placed the pads on Mr Berrecloth’s chest. The analysis recorder advised ‘shock’ and after that CPR.

Said Lee: “Both Dave and I then carried out CPR on the gentleman for about five minutes until the paramedic arrived, and then the three of us rotated compression cycles until the ambulance came.

“It’s absolutely brilliant news that Mr Berrecloth is improving in hospital. As you might imagine, I was a bit shaky after he was taken away in the ambulance, but at the time both Dave and I put into practice what we are trained to do in these circumstances and the adrenaline kicked in.”

He added: “The family have been brilliant. They called in a couple of days after with flowers, chocolates and a card for all staff.

“Hopefully in the near future Mr Berrecloth himself will be well enough to make a visit to Bakewell Swimming Pool, and that will be really special.”

Dave Pryor said: “Teamwork was so important in being able to help Mr Berrecloth. From the prompt actions of our staff and the call to the emergency services through to ensuring the continued safety of everyone using the centre whilst the crucial treatment took place. Everyone played their part brilliantly. I would also like to pay tribute to the exceptional professionalism of the ambulance service and the courage and bravery of Mr Berrecloth’s family.”