On Oct. 23, 2014, the staff at the Central Park Recreation Center averted a potential tragedy. A senior citizen was swimming laps when he started to struggle swimming and became unconscious. The aquatics coordinator and on-duty lifeguards pulled him out of the water and immediately started CPR. They used an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)to restart his heart beat by the time the paramedics arrived.
The paramedics returned later that day to congratulate the staff for a job well done. “The internal processes worked to perfection,” says Kelly Kitts, Central Park supervisor. The man is almost 100 percent recovered now.
For the quick action and safety process, the staff was recognized by the Denver Police Department at a ceremony on Fri., March 3 at the recreation center. “If we didn’t have the support we do from Denver Parks and Rec, I don’t think the employees would have quite the confidence to react the way they did that day,” Kitts says.
At the ceremony, she made a special recognition of Charlene Branch, the aquatics coordinator, who has focused on training the staff for a potential emergency. Other staff members recognized included: Ben Hensley, operations coordinator; Jordane Ruhmann, lifeguard; Michael Tooley, lifeguard; Justine Sullivan, lifeguard; and Issac Simental, recreation instructor.