‘Real life hero’ security guard saves customer choking on mint in middle of shopping centre
A HEROIC security guard has insisted he was “just doing his job” when he saved a customer who was choking on a mint in the middle of a shopping centre. Richard Shelley, 63, has worked at the Royals Shopping Centre for just over a year and sprang into action when he spotted the man in trouble. The security guard was “doing the rounds” when he saw the man coughing and struggling for breath.
The security guard, of Stambridge Security, jumped in to help without hesitation. He called for help but soon realised the man needed immediate action, before patting him on the back and performing the Heimlich manoeuvre. The life-saving move dislodged the mint from the man’s throat.
Mr Shelley, who lives in Hockley, said: “It was instinct really, I asked the gentleman to point to the area he was struggling with and he pointed to his throat. “With some firm pats to the back, out flew a polo mint. The gentleman’s first response was ‘I’m never eating a polo again.’
“Clearly distressed, the man emotionally thanked me for saving his life. “I am really humbled and it’s just wonderful to be able to do my job and be appreciated at the same time. “I’m pleased the man was okay.”
Dawn Jeakings, centre manager, has branded Mr Shelley “a real life hero” after the events which unfolded on May 6. She said: “Thanks to Richard’s quick thinking he may have easily saved this gentleman’s life. “We are so thankful to him and to all of our fantastically trained team.”
Ron Woodley – deputy leader of Southend Council – has now called for all security staff to be given first aid training, proving absolutely vital in situations where customers may need medical assistance. Mr Woodley, said: “I think situations like this go to show how important it is for people to have first aid experience when they’re readily at hand to help if anyone needs it. It really could save someone’s life.
“Well done to Richard for his quick-thinking, knowing we have such a good team of people looking out for customers at the centre is a great feeling.”