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Japan supermarket searching for anonymous customer who helped save security guard's life

The handwritten sign put up at the entrance to the Tachiya supermarket where a customer gave compressions to a collapsed security guard is seen in this partially modified image taken in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, on Dec. 24, 2020. (Mainichi/Noriyoshi Matsumoto)

YOKKAICHI, Mie -- A supermarket in this central Japan city has put up a sign to properly thank an anonymous customer who helped save the life of a security guard on Dec. 8 by performing chest compressions on him after he collapsed and lost consciousness.

    Because staff at the Tachiya grocery store were caught up with their emergency response, they didn't have a chance to ask the customer his name or thank him; they later put up the sign as a way to express their gratitude. The store's manager, 47, said they were hoping to meet the man again, saying, "We'd really like to see him and thank him once again."

    According to the manager, the security guard collapsed in front of the shop at around 3 p.m. on Dec. 8, and staff called the 119 emergency number. The customer gave the man heart compressions until an ambulance arrived, at which point emergency workers used an automated external defibrillator (AED) and conveyed the collapsed security guard to hospital. He later regained consciousness, and was discharged without issue on Dec. 18.

    The deputy director of the city's Naka Fire Department, who went to the scene of the incident, reflected on the events and said, "If he'd been left collapsed there it may have put his life at risk. The customer's quick and appropriate response led to the man being saved."

    The shop's manager expressed regret, saying, "It was a bit hectic among us as we carried out our emergency response, so all we managed to say to the customer was, 'Thank you very much, you've been a great help.' We didn't get to ask his name."

    As a result, the sign went up at the entrance. The handwritten notice includes expression of gratitude including, "Thank you so much for your speedy and brave actions." The store manager said, "I remember more or less how the man looked, so I'm on the lookout to see if he comes again to the shop, but I haven't had a chance to meet him yet. I want to thank him once more for saving the life of our security guard."

    (Japanese original by Noriyoshi Matsumoto, Yokkaichi Bureau)

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