The quick thinking actions of Arndale Centre staff after a customer collapsed have been praised by the South East Coast Ambulance Service.

Cleaning supervisor Chris Sinclair, 61, who has worked at the Arndale Centre for 17 years, rushed to the men’s toilets after a customer told him someone had collapsed. He immediately alerted the security team and closed off the toilets to the public.

Security officer Steve Fulbrook, 29, and Sussex Business Warden Rob Braisby, 36, were first on the scene and they quickly ripped off the toilet door to get the customer into a space where Steve began CPR.

They were quickly joined by Security Team Duty Manager Dave Parfitt, 35, and security officer Mark Billington, 45, when Dave noticed that the man’s tongue looked swollen and he managed to dislodge a set of false teeth that were blocking his airway.

The man’s situation was monitored by the defibrillator and the team continued with CPR until the paramedics arrived just ten minutes after the man had been found.

Dave said: “Although incidents like this aren’t common, they do happen from time to time but no one is really aware of them. It is a team effort when we get a situation like this.

Eastbourne Arndale Centre Manager Bill Plumridge said: “Our security team is trained to deal with emergency situations like this, but that doesn’t get away from the fact that they do a fantastic job in very stressful situations that require them to think, and act, very quickly. Our thoughts now are with the gentleman who collapsed and we hope he makes a full recovery.”

A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Service said: “We would like to thank everyone who helped at the scene prior to our arrival in order to give the man the best chance of survival. Their quick thinking and actions were vital. Our crews continued the resuscitation and he was taken to Eastbourne District General in a serious condition.”

DSCN4117 720