Lifeguards who saved swimmer at Aqua Vale after he suffered cardiac arrest in the water receive awards

Pictured from left are Aqua Vale general manager Dave Tenney, RLSS UKs Iwan Williams, Chris Sawkins (firefighter), Phillipa Frances (lifeguard), Jon Killip (casualty), George Constable (lifeguard), Ellie Picillo (lifeguard) and Frederick Tomlins, Everyone Active's contract operations manager. Photo by Derek Pelling.
Pictured from left are Aqua Vale general manager Dave Tenney, RLSS UKs Iwan Williams, Chris Sawkins (firefighter), Phillipa Frances (lifeguard), Jon Killip (casualty), George Constable (lifeguard), Ellie Picillo (lifeguard) and Frederick Tomlins, Everyone Active's contract operations manager. Photo by Derek Pelling.

Three lifeguards at Aqua Vale in Aylesbury who saved a man after he suffered a cardiac arrest in the water earlier this year have been awarded certificates by the Royal Life Saving Society for their actions.

Ellie Picillo, Phillippa Francis and George Constable dramatically rescued John Killip who was swimming at the pool on a Monday morning in August.

From left Iwan Williams from the RLSS, lifeguard George Constable, Jon Killip (the casualty, lifeguard Ellie Picillo, Chris Sawkins (a firefighter who was involved in the rescue) and lifeguard Phillippa Frances. Photo by Derek Pelling.

From left Iwan Williams from the RLSS, lifeguard George Constable, Jon Killip (the casualty, lifeguard Ellie Picillo, Chris Sawkins (a firefighter who was involved in the rescue) and lifeguard Phillippa Frances. Photo by Derek Pelling.

Mr Killip was swimming in the water when he started clutching at his chest.

Ellie (pictured above in the white top) was on duty at the time of the incident.

Noticing Mr Killip in distress in the pool, she got out of her chair and jumped in the pool.

Fellow lifeguard George Constable (pictured above in the blue jacket) was swimming in the pool at the time (while off-duty) and helped Ellie bring Mr Killip to the poolside.

The staff proceeded to use the on-site defibrillator and administered CPR to Mr Killip.

George started the CPR, fellow lifeguard Phillippa Francis (pictured above in the grey top) used the defibrillator and Ellie supported Mr Killip's head.

Mr Killip went on to make a full recovery and for their efforts the team at Aqua Vale were awarded ‘certificates of meritorious action’ by the Royal Life Saving Society.

The lifeguards were also assisted by off duty firefighter Chris Sawkins while the centre's contract operations manager Frederick Tomlins phoned for an ambulance.

Speaking about the day Phillippa told the Herald: "The ambulance was here within minutes - I only had to use the defibrillator four times.

"Our biggest priority once we had rescued the gentleman was getting oxygen into his system.

"It was a real team effort - it was the first time we had to deal with a situation like this and our training really paid off."

George has been working as a lifeguard for around four years while Phillippa has been working at the centre for less than a year.

It was the first rescue that Ellie had been involved in during her time as a lifeguard.

A few weeks after the incident Mr Killip and his wife visited Aqua Vale to thank the team for their life-saving efforts and present them with chocolates as a gesture of their appreciation.

Phillippa said: "It was wonderful to meet John and his family and great that he had made a full recovery."

The team at Aqua Vale were given the award by the Royal Life Saving Society, a charity which works to prevent drowning, for their efforts.

Phillippa said of the award: "It was completely unexpected and very humbling - we were just doing our jobs.

"It is amazing to be recognised in this way and thankfully our training paid off and the gentleman made a full recovery.

"We have a great team here at Aqua Vale but the incident really strengthened our bond as staff."

Frederick Tomlins, Everyone Active's contract operations manager for the centre said: "It’s a testament to how well our team work together and support each other, that they can affect a successful rescue like this.

“I know the family are grateful for the swift and effective response and I know I speak for all of the staff, when I say how proud we are of them.

"The feedback has been that if it wasn’t for their quick thinking and rigorous training, the gentleman might not have recovered."

Aqua Vale's general manager David Tenny told the Herald: "We are planning to run CPR training sessions for the community in the New Year.

"We want to be able to pass on the life-saving skills that we give to our staff to the community."