The Vital Records section of the Guilford County Register of Deeds Office was shut down Monday afternoon by a frightening event in which quick-thinking deeds’ staff and a deeds’ customer may have saved a man’s life.

On Monday, Dec. 3, a man was conducting business at the counter when he suddenly collapsed to the floor due to what deeds’ staff now believe was a heart attack.

Instantly, the staff in the Register of Deeds office and a customer took action: One woman called 911 while another ran over to the man, dropped to the floor and attempted to assess the man’s condition. That woman proceeded to talk to him and comfort him. Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen said another customer had noticed a Guilford County security officer nearby when entering the building and he immediately ran to get that officer. Thigpen said that was the exact right thing to do because the officer turned out to be a former firefighter.

“Not all of the county’s security officers have that training,” Thigpen said, “but this one happened to be a former firefighter trained in CPR and life-saving techniques.”

Thigpen, who was returning from the High Point swearing-in ceremony for new Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers and walked into the Greensboro Register of Deeds office in the Guilford County BB&T building in downtown Greensboro as the incident occurred, said he reviewed the video recording of the event and said his staff and the customer leaped into action immediately. He said the customer dropped to the floor at 1:54 p.m. and a minute and a half later the man was getting CPR.

“It was amazing the way everyone came together to help,” Thigpen said.

Two minutes after the security guard began administering CPR, the Greensboro Fire Department arrived and, then, two minutes later, Emergency Medical Services workers were on the scene.

Thigpen said the man’s color was purple at one point and staff was not sure their actions had done any good, but Thigpen added that he later got a report that the man was alive at the hospital and being treated. He said he feels confident it was the quick actions of all involved that led to that outcome.

“In a moments notice, a group of people came together for a single purpose – to save a life,” he said.