Staff at Lord Butler Fitness & Leisure Centre in Saffron Walden helped save a man's life after he suffered a cardiac arrest while swimming.

Paul Garner, 62, was swimming at the 1Life leisure centre last month when he went into cardiac arrest.

Trained staff sprang into action, lifting him from the pool and drying him before using the on-site defibrillator to resuscitate him.

Police and paramedics also attended the incident, with police officers Glen Simons and Ryan McNamara helping with CPR.

Paul was taken to Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, and thanks to the fast and efficient response of those involved is set to make a full recovery.

Paramedics and police officers praised the leisure centre staff for the speed in which they dealt with the incident, using their training and implementing emergency procedures to tend to Paul until further help arrived.

One of the attending police officers said they "couldn't have asked for better support" on the day.


One of the paramedics who attended the site added: "The swift actions of the leisure centre staff helped to make this a positive outcome for the man.

"While heart attacks can’t always be avoided, you can reduce your risk by getting regular heart checks as well as leading a healthy lifestyle."

1Life contract manager Beckie Reynolds praised her colleagues for their quick action.

She said: "We are very proud of the way the team coped with the incident. We are all trained to deal with situations like this but we all hope we never have to.

"We are over the moon that Paul Garner is making a full recovery. Our best wishes go out to him and his family."

Lord Butler Fitness & Leisure Centre, run by 1Life, is based in Peaslands Road, Saffron Walden, and offers swimming, fitness classes, children's activities and more.

Facilities include a 55-station gym, multiple sports courts - including badminton, squash, netball and tennis, as well as studios and spin bikes.

The centre is open on Mondays to Fridays from 6am to 10pm, and on weekends from 7am to 5pm.

For more information go to