Potentially life-saving deeds earn model employee praise

Quick thinking and a calm approach in an emergency have put Worthing woman Jo Parmenter in the spotlight.

Wednesday, 5th April 2017, 8:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:29 pm
Jo Parmenter with manager Mark Watts and other Gala Bingo employees. Picture: Derek Martin DM17417239a

The 46-year-old customer service host has won a gold award from employer Gala Bingo, the company’s highest honour, after saving a young girl who was choking.

She has since earned more praise for helping a 93-year-old woman who collapsed at a bus stop in Durrington.

Mark Watts, manager, said Jo had kept the second potentially life-saving deed quiet but the woman’s daughter tracked her down and heaped praise on her.

“I am extremely proud of Jo, she is a model employee and a fantastic member of the team,” he said.

“She goes out of her way for people and not many people in the community are like that now.”

The first incident happened while Jo was sweeping up outside the Rowlands Road bingo hall.

“I heard this noise and saw this child was blue in the face,” she said.

A former one-to-one nurse and trained first aider, she realised the girl was choking and acted quickly to save her.

Jo added: “I picked her up and patted her back. She was sick on my shoulder but I have never been so happy.”

Then a couple of weeks ago, she was at the Pulse bus stop in Columbia Drive, on her way to work, when she saw Sylvia Atwood collapse.

Jo made sure Sylvia stayed warm as she was drifting in and out of consciousness, and received praise from the paramedic for her calm, efficient and caring approach.

“There was just the two of us,” said Jo. “I called the ambulance but then she went under again and I resuscitated her.”

Doris Meadle, the woman’s daughter, was able to trace Jo through her uniform and wrote to the company to sing her praises.

“I’m known to be a bit of a Miss Marple, so I looked up photos online of Gala Worthing and eventually found a picture of a man being presented with a very large cheque. It turned out to be my jackpot, too, because in the background was the very lady in question,” she explained.

“Mum is now on the mend, thankfully, and I’m so glad Joanna was on hand at the time Mum most needed help.”

Jo, who has worked at the bingo hall for three years, will be presented with her gold award at a ceremony in August.

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