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.”

FDNY’s Second Chance Ceremony (Credit: CBS2)

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

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.

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.