Three Surrey lifeguards have been awarded letters of commendation from BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) for their lifesaving efforts.

Heather While, a paramedic with BCEHS, presented the awards Thursday (May 16) to Elisabeth Chow, Romas Shmit and Stephanie Thompson during a staff appreciation breakfast at Guildford Recreation Centre. While described the events that took place at the recreation centre on February 29, 2024.

A man suddenly collapsed while playing badminton with his wife. He got up but then collapsed again and was unresponsive, While said.

A witness alerted the front desk, which radioed for staff to respond.

Elisabeth Chow was the first lifeguard on the scene, followed by Romas Shmit and supervisor Stephanie Thompson.

Chow said, “Once we got there, he was on the floor, his wife was crying, and when I got there, we started CPR, gave him breaths, put on the AED, and just brought him back to life.”

Thompson added, “We were a cohesive team, and we all just played our part,” Thompson said. “I felt very proud because all of my training kicked in.” Shmit noted, “I think the fact that we have a professional team on the scene made the whole difference.”

Chow added, “I felt horrible for the wife; the wife was very worried about her husband, but after, it felt good to do what I’ve been trained to do and to put all of that work into something good.”

While said, “Thanks to the quick and coordinated response of Romas, Elisabeth and Stephanie, the patient regained consciousness and was able to communicate prior to being transported to the hospital. Their diligent efforts certainly made a difference in the outcome of this incident.”

Chow, Shmit and Thompson were each awarded a BCEHS letter of commendation and given a challenge coin. These are presented to on-duty trained first responders “who go above and beyond their call of duty to provide lifesaving care,” said While.

2024-05-18 17:00:00
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