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La Crosse Fire Dept. hopes to thank local hero, who rode off into sunset, unrecognized, after performing life-saving measures

Rick Solem

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The La Crosse Fire Department is looking for the hero, who helped perform life-saving measures to someone on the south side Wednesday.

Emergency responders arrived to the Walmart on the south side, where “excellent bystander CPR being performed,” the department posted on Facebook. “Without this person stepping in and performing CPR prior to our arrival the outcome could have been much worse.”

After EMTs got everything in order and that person off to, presumably, the hospital, they then turned to thank the person who initially helped out. He was gone, like a cowboy riding off into the sunset.

“We have no idea who this person is, at this point,” La Crosse Fire Captain Lance Tryggestad told Tuesday’s La Crosse Talk PM audience (listen here, about 19 minutes in). “They just kind of blended off into the background.

“As they were packaging the patient, he was gone. It’s kind of need that actually.”

The department put out a Facebook post, asking for the community’s help in recognizing this person. As of 6:30 p.m., it had nearly 1,000 shares.

“Crews went back to the store,” Tryggestad said, “trying to find this person through Walmart — they’re working on it as well, trying to help us out — but it was in the meantime we thought we’ll put on Facebook.”

The department hopes to find the person who helped out, if they want to be found.

“We’re looking to shake the person’s hand, pat them on the back, just acknowledge them, either publicly or privately,” Tryggestad said. “We’re not looking to make this a big thing, if that person doesn’t want that but we just want to shake their hand and say thank you.”

Tryggestad added that, when someone is in need of assistance, you do not need to know CPR to be of help. If you end up having to call 911, dispatch can easily walk someone through performing basic CPR or other measures, if needed, until EMTs arrive.