Robert Scales and Barrie Laws with Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
Robert Scales and Barrie Laws with Tweed MP Geoff Provest. Alina Rylko

VIDEO: “Mr Brave” wins award for life-saving CPR

A BANORA Point retiree has been presented with a prestigious award after performing life-saving CPR on his best friend after he collapsed during a game of table tennis.

Banora Point retireee Barrie Laws was presented with a NSW Seniors Festival achievement award by Tweed MP Geoff Provest on Wednesday for saving the life of his best mate Robert Scales in February.

The shocking moment Mr Scales collapsed during a table tennis game at Coolangatta Senior Citizens Club was captured on the club’s CCTV camera.

The footage shows Mr Laws jumping into action to save him, completing CPR for several minutes before paramedics arrived on the scene.


“He just fell down over like a tree,” Mr Laws said.

“I went over to him, and he was in a comb position, with his leg caught underneath him.

“He looked terrible and he was grey and I thought he was dead.”

Mr Laws, a former fire fighter of 35 years, last updated his CPR skills 10 years ago, but nevertheless kicked into compressions as if on autopilot, performing in perfectly timed rhythm until ambulance officers arrived four minutes later to take over.

Mr Scales was shocked back to life and taken to Tweed Hospital before being transferred to John Flynn Private Hospital for further treatment. He has since made a full recovery, with a new defibrillator, and is even enjoying a game of table tennis at the club this week.

Accepting the award from Mr Provest at his Tweed Head office, Mr Laws said the award was an important honour because it reflected him carrying out his duties to the fire service.

“I’m hanging this up on my wall next to where all my fire service certificates are, reflecting years of service, it’s very important to me,” Mr Laws said.

Tearing up, Mr Laws said since his story went viral and was featured on the front page of the Tweed Daily News, his grandson, 8, had sent him a present.

“He said to his mum, I’m going to by grandpa a book: ‘Mr Brave’,” he said.

Mr Provest commended Mr Laws for his quick thinking and level of skill.

“Recognising people in our local community that take that one step further for the benefit of the community is a great honour,” Mr Provest said.

“Barrie didn’t hesitate to support a friend in their time of need and by all reports saved his life with CPR.”

Cecelia Haddon of Tweed Heads South was also awarded for local achievement for her 10 years of service to the Tweed Hospital as a Pink Lady and hospital auxiliary, selling Anzac badges and volunteering at the Lifeline shop.

Richard and Cecelia Haddon with Tweed MP Geoff Provest.
Richard and Cecelia Haddon with Tweed MP Geoff Provest. Alina Rylko


- Just compressions is okay

- Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees is the right beat

- Every minute without CPR reduces survival odds by 10%

- Only 1 in 10 Australians survive a cardiac arrest

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