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There wasn’t sand or the ocean in sight but that proved no barrier for one surf lifesaver who helped revive a cyclist aged in his 60s at the Duncan Gray Velodrome in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Scott Alaban from The Entrance Surf Life Saving Club was at the Bass Hill venue in Sydney’s west when he witnessed a cyclist lose consciousness following a race.

“It was the first time I had ever been to the venue and there was an older male there who had just competed sitting on one of the chairs to recover. He was eating some lollies and all of a sudden just seized up and fell to ground striking his head on the floor on the way down,” Mr Alaban said.

Instinct honed by several years spent as a lifesaver kicked in for the aspiring lifeguard who raced over to offer assistance along with other members of the public who had witnessed the incident.

“The man wasn’t breathing so I along with a member of the public commenced chest compressions and cleared his airways. It all happened pretty quickly but fortunately I didn’t even have to think about what I had to do as the training just kicked in automatically.

“An office worker rushed downstairs with a defibrillator and because I had a working knowledge of it I was charged with putting it on the patient. Throughout the situation there was a group of about five of us who all rotated through compressions doing about 60 each. After one shock cycle it got his heart back into a good rhythm and he was able to begin breathing again on his own before the emergency services took over his treatment,” he said.

Scott first was exposed to the first aid training that proved to be crucial while a member of Port Macquarie Surf Club a place where he was a member for five seasons and was recognised as patrol member of the year in the 2014/15 season.

He wants to use this incident to highlight to other lifesavers just how important this training can be.

“I think it’s never too late to learn new skills and you never know when you could be called upon to use your training. I certainly wasn’t expecting to have to use CPR last night but that is what lifesaving teaches you to expect the unexpected.

“It’s knowledge well worth learning.”

This story does have a happy postscript.

“I actually spoke to the man this morning he was doing well apart from a sore chest and a couple of broken ribs. He was very grateful for our intervention and it looks like he will make a good recovery,” Mr Alaban said.


Thursday 27 October 2016