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"It’s important to keep calm because that’s how you help the person to stay calm."

Adam Hockley - Duty Manager
Adam Hockley - Duty Manager Adam has worked in first aid jobs over the past 10 years.

It's not every day that hanging out in a hotel lobby waiting for your pepperoni pizza to arrive gives you a chance to be a hero to a stranger. But when an unwell passer-by staggered into the Rydge’s hotel clutching his chest, it was off-duty Kur-in-gai Fitness and Aquatic Centre Casual Duty Manager, Adam Hockley who stepped up to take control.

Adam had worked up an appetite helping the Camden team out for the weekend. Back at his hotel, he watched a Broncos v Paramatta match on TV before ordering Uber Eats and heading downstairs to wait for the driver.

While chatting to the receptionist in the lobby, a gentleman walked in asking someone to call an ambulance because he believed he was having a heart attack. Adam took control, asking the receptionist to call an ambulance as he went over to support the man’s weight. 

Adam checked the man’s vital signs and kept him talking – about life and footy – to keep him alert and to distract him while they waited for the ambulance to arrive. “Every time the man started to close his eyes, I squeezed his hands,” Adam said.

“When he got a bit worse, I asked the receptionist to call the ambulance again and let them know he was starting to lose consciousness. I also asked her to have a defibrillator on hand if needed, but to keep it out of sight because I didn’t want the man to see it,” Adam said. 

When the ambulance arrived, Adam stayed to make sure the ambulance didn’t need him anymore. The man got medical help in time and is doing OK at last report. 

Adam said working in first aid jobs in the last 10 years helped him know what to do. “You see different situations, suspected heart and strokes. It’s important to keep calm because that’s how you help the person to say calm.”

Adam kept this event quiet but the hotel staff enthusiastically told Centre Manager Max Olsson all about it the following week. The next time Adam checked into the hotel to help the Camden team again, he found a box of chocolates and thanks on arrival. Adam is also ‘pretty sure’ they gave him a better room too.

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