NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A group of New Yorkers got the opportunity of a lifetime on Tuesday – the chance to thank someone who saved them from dying.

Nine cardiac arrest survivors reunited with the FDNY paramedics who saved their lives during the 25th annual “Second Chance Ceremony.”

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FDNY’s Second Chance Ceremony (Credit: CBS2)

Among the survivors was a Staten Island dad, a 21-year-old Queens man, and a firefighter.

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Another person counting their blessings – a reverend who was saved by paramedics after he went into cardiac arrest while preaching to his congregation in October.

Reverend Jeffery Thompson (Credit: CBS2)

“I speak every week about a God who gives a second chance and I am sure grateful to the EMTs and the fire department and those people in the congregation,” reverend Jeffery Thompson said.

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Since the start of the celebration 25 years ago, the FDNY has reunited more than 200 patients with the outstanding men and women who saved their lives.