NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The FDNY and its emergency medical service have the job of saving lives every day. And typically, the survivor never gets a chance to thank the team that saved his or her life.
But on Wednesday in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, the Fire Department held its 20th annual Second Chance Brunch, reuniting EMTs with some of the people they saved.
As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, Jessi Saldana got to meet and thank the emergency technicians who found him in cardiac arrest.
“Great people,” Saldana said. “They gave me a second chance at life, and I appreicate them for that.”
Peg Devlin was one of the two EMTs who treated Saldana. Her patient has made a remarkable recovery.
“He looked very, very sick,” she recalled. “He actually looked grave.”
Today, Saldana said, he looks “pretty good. Look at how handsome he is. He looks like David Ortiz.”
In December, Ralph Miles, of Brooklyn, had a lethal cardiac rhythm. He received a breathing tube, cold intravenous fluids and four shocks with a defibrillator.
“A lot of times, I wondered what they looked like,” Miles said. “I wondered who it was.
“They resuscitated me, and I’m here again,” he added. “My heart stopped twice, and they just never gave up on it.”
Sudhir Mongia collapsed on a stairway at Penn Station. Commuter John Dohlin saw Mongia fall and rushed to help.
“I started administering CPR,” the Good Samaritan said. “Amtrak officer Adam Peterkin showed up. We worked on him together, and the FDNY EMTs showed up.”
The scare happened just after Mongia attended his daughter’s graduation from NYU. A defibrillator shock restored his pulse.
“My family and I are all very grateful and appreciate what was done for us,” he said.
“It’s been very, very emotional and satisfying to meet the people again,” Mongia added.
Last year, more than 13,000 New Yorkers were trained by the FDNY in bystander CPR.
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