On Thursday 21st January, staff from Finchley Lido attended the Annual GLL Awards Ball at Porchester Halls in Westminster and were awarded the coveted 'Safe Hands' award for their extraordinary efforts and professionalism when they saved the life of a swimmer in July 2015.

Duty Manager 'Osam Layeth', Senior lifeguard 'Miroslav Kucma' and casual lifeguard Chloe O'Grady performed successful CPR and defibrillation on a 'Natasha Weisz' after she suffered a heart event whilst swimming.

The 'Safe Hands' award follows the SADS UK National Lifesaver Defibrillator Award for the same incident.

Advanced paramedic Chelsey Pike, who was in the ambulance response team, said:

If it hadn’t been for the lifeguards, who promptly recognised that she was in cardiac arrest and immediately treated her, it’s unlikely that she’d be alive today. The lifeguards were excellent. They saved her life.”

Natasha spent several days in intensive care at St Mary’s hospital, Paddington, and made a full recovery.

Natasha Weisz, from Finchley, a rheumatologist at Northwick Park hospital in Harrow, said: “I remember getting in the swimming pool, but I don’t remember anything else until I woke up a few days later in hospital. It shows how important these machines are, as without it I may not be here today. If it happened some other time, some other place I may not have survived this.’

Gillan Kelly, Partnership Manager for GLL said

"Our lifeguards attend regular training in line with Royal Life Saving Society recommendations, to ensure that they are equipped with the required knowledge and skills to supervise our pools and respond to emergency situations if required.

"Everyone at GLL is incredibly proud of the staff at Finchley Lido, who in the face of a potentially life threatening incident calmly and effectively put their training into practice.

"The team’s actions on the day were superb and significantly increased the casualty’s chances of survival.  It was gratifying to find out that she went on to make a full recovery."