FDNY first responders reunited with heart attack victims they saved

BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) -- There was a special reunion in Brooklyn for first responders to meet with 14 former heart attack patients they saved.

EMTs, paramedics and other emergency responders had a chance to reconnect with the cardiac arrest survivors during the FDNY's 24th annual Second Chance Ceremony on Tuesday.

Each of their stories is truly special. From a father attending a car show in Brooklyn who has lived to see his son's wedding to a retired NYPD officer who was saved after spending his career helping others.

One woman suffered a heart attack while riding a shuttle bus at LaGuardia Airport on the way to her father's 97th birthday party.

Michael Fenster was running the Brooklyn Half Marathon last spring when he went down. He said he doesn't remember anything.

But fellow runner Andy Posner, a paramedic, remembers exactly what happened.

"I told my friend who I was running with, 'listen, I'm going to stop, I'm going to give him a hand,'" Posner said. "And we got pulses back pretty quickly."

Now Fenster has a defibrillator implanted in his body, along with a fresh outlook.

"It is a very good reminder to focus on your loved ones and what you enjoy and not sweat the small things," Fenster said.

A 16-month-old little girl was found unresponsive by her father. He administered CPR with the help of 911 dispatchers until EMS arrived.

"If we never have another patient, she was the greatest achievement that I have had in my paramedic career," paramedic Joseph Laporte said.

Eleven of the survivors at the event first received bystander CPR before FDNY members arrived. That immediate attention coupled with defibrillation can make the difference in saving a life.

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