Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Saturday, April 19, 2008
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A USS Kitty Hawk sailor was recognized this week for jumping onto train tracks to rescue a Japanese man who was having a seizure.
Seaman Phillip Simmons was waiting for his train at Yokosuka’s Kenritsu Daigaku station April 8 when he saw a Japanese man start shaking, according to a Navy release.
The man fell off the platform and onto the tracks below, Simmons said in the release.
“I saw him start shaking, and start to lose his balance,” Simmons is quoted as saying in the release. “Another Japanese man tried to catch him, but he fell over into the tracks, so I jumped down to him and tried to get him up.”
Simmons pulled the man to safety with help from other people at the station, the release said. The volunteers then pulled Simmons off the tracks just seconds before the train arrived, he said.
“I could see the train coming and just kept thinking, ‘Oh [no], I need to get back up,’” Simmons said in the release.
Once back on the platform, Simmons continued to care for the man, who continued to suffer seizures, while a station attendant called an ambulance, he said. When the man came out of the seizure, he tried to run from the people trying to restrain him, Simmons said.
Another sailor, Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Dennis, witnessed this and was quoted in the release as saying, “Simmons was just trying to keep him calm.”
“If Simmons wasn’t there that morning, that guy would be dead,” Dennis said. “He’s not the type of person to stand by and watch if someone needs help.”
After a Japanese official confirmed Simmons’ story — the incident caused the sailor to arrive late for work in the enlisted barber shop — Simmons’ chain of command nominated the sailor for an award based on his actions.