In late May, the quick response of CUPE members working at the Castlegar and District Community Complex saved a man’s life.
According to reports from the Castlegar Source, Castlegar resident Greg Gritchin, was taking part in a National Lifeguard Service Course. The course was proceeding normally when staff and instructors suddenly noticed that Gritchin was lying face down in the pool. Without hesitation, the team leapt into action, pulling Gritchin from the water. CUPE members Vanessa Bloodoff, Josh Davis and Troy Bingham put their emergency training to good use.
They administered CPR and used the AED (Automated External Defibrillator) to start resuscitation. First responders were called, and when they got there, Gritchin was regaining consciousness. The paramedics acknowledged that the quick action of the Community Complex staff made all the difference in the first critical minutes. It turns out Gritchin had a sudden cardiac arrest from a blocked artery – a condition he didn’t even know he had. He has made a full recovery, and is very grateful to pool staff for their fast response.
“Lifeguards and other workers at public recreation facilities are well trained and very qualified to deal with emergency situations just like this,” said Mark Hancock, president of CUPE BC. “On behalf of all 85,000 CUPE members across B.C., I want to extend congratulations to all the staff members in Castlegar for helping save Mr. Gritchin’s life. It’s situations like this—and hundreds of others that aren’t quite as dramatic—that show the importance of strong public services in our communities."
“Keeping municipal recreational services public means workers have access to training funds through their collective agreements. Privatized facilities don’t have the same emphasis. We are very proud of these heroes.”
Along with the course instructors, CUPE members Vanessa Bloodoff, Josh Davis, Troy Bingham have been commended for their actions.
CUPE 2262 represents 55 civic workers in Castlegar’s aquatic centre, arenas, and landfill.