A LEISURE centre employee who saved the life of a football player has been named an Unsung Hero by Pembrokeshire County Council.Fishguard Leisure Centre Duty Officer Lisa Starkey was nominated by – among others –the father of the young man she saved.
In January this year Lisa was working at the leisure centre when 32-year-old Nicky Badland collapsed with a suspected heart attack, while training on a nearby pitch with Fishguard Sports AFC.
Lisa ran on to the pitch and immediately performed CPR until an ambulance arrived.
“Her presence of mind and cool head under a tense situation undoubtedly saved our son,” said Geoffrey Badland.
“Although Lifeguards have intensive training in CPR techniques, few have to use their skills in a real life situation. We will always be indebted to Lisa.”
Lisa was presented with a framed certificate at County Hall this week by Ian Westley, Director of Transportation, Housing and Environment.
Now in its 10th year, the Unsung Hero Award is presented to an individual council employee, who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment in the delivery of first class customer service.
Members of the public as well as council employees are able to put forward nominations for the award.Just missing on the top prize were three runners up, who were all Highly Commended.
They included social services transport driver, Wyndham Arnold; Haverfordwest Leisure Centre employee, Nicola Cunningham and County Hall car park attendant, John Hughes.
Wyndham Arnold was nominated by a customer at Wintern Day Centre in Fishguard, who said he went above and beyond the call of duty in his work taking his customers to appointments, to collect their pensions or to the bank and shops.
“He makes sure everyone is safely in our homes, he will cheer us up when we are feeling down, nothing is too much for him to do to help- us in so many ways,” the customer said.
Nicola Cunningham was nominated by a Leisure Centre user, who praised her dedication and enthusiasm which had seen the children of Haverfordwest benefit from all the activities she was involved in.
“In addition to the weekly swimming lessons that Nicola is involved in, she has also singlehandedly created and continually improved the leisure centre rookie life saving club. From there not being any children’s life saving provision two years ago, Nicola is now the driving force in attracting in excess of 90 children to the weekly sessions.”County Hall car park attendant John Hughes received several nominations, praising his people skills and professional and courteous manner.
“It is an unenviable job as he often has to incur the misplaced wrath of a frustrated driver hoping to slip undetected into the car park for an unauthorised visit,” said one nominee.
“In my experience when this occurs John calls on his considerable people skills and invariably reacts in a calm and dignified manner, thus defusing potentially awkward situations.”