SORRENTO Surf Life Saving Club’s Craig Gamble was recently recognised for his bravery and going over and above normal duty expectations.
Mr Gamble and Nadine Seabrook had been camping near Byron Bay when, at about 10.30pm, they were woken by someone screaming for help and asking if anyone knew CPR.
“I ran out with a head lamp, as we were remote without power in the area, and rushed to where a camper was standing with his friend flat on his back,” Mr Gamble said.
“The guy believed his friend had choked but he held his chest as he fell.
“There was no pulse or breathing. While I was checking his airway, other people arrived and assisted with lighting the area and another camper said he knew first aid.
“He was rolled onto his back and I began CPR with the assistance of Andrew providing the breaths,” he said..
“Andrew and I went through rotations of compressions and breaths and gained some response from the patient a few times; he began to breathe a couple of breaths on his own and at some points squeezing a hand, but again stopped
“The patient was young, about 35, so we also checked for signs of potential snake or spider bites while Nadine kept track of how long we had been providing CPR.”
He said they were performing CPR for about 50 minutes before paramedics arrived with a defibrillator.
They applied one shock while Mr Gamble continued with compressions until the patient regained a pulse.
A drip was installed while Mr Gamble applied oxygen before a second ambulance and police arrived along with a helicopter to transport the patient to the nearest hospital.
“Mark rang me once he was out of hospital,” Mr Gamble said.
“The doctors don’t know why he went down but he will undergo more tests to try and determine the cause.”
“He couldn’t remember eight hours prior or 24 hours after the incident but other than that and some cracked ribs, he was okay.”
Mr Gamble was awarded a Surf Life Saving Australia meritorious award for “outstanding performance and bravery”.
“I can’t thank enough the people and trainers from Sorrento SLSC for what I have learned that enabled me to assist when found in that situation,” he said.