'Leisure centre hero saved our son'

Western Telegraph: LIFE SAVER: Winner Lisa Starkey (second right) is pictured with Ian Westley (second left). Also pictured are highly commended winners John Hughes (left) and Nicola Cunningham (right). (2915497) LIFE SAVER: Winner Lisa Starkey (second right) is pictured with Ian Westley (second left). Also pictured are highly commended winners John Hughes (left) and Nicola Cunningham (right). (2915497)

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 Nicky's dad, 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.”

Nicky made a full recovery, returning to work in April and becoming a dad to twins Olivia and Sophie later this year.

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.

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