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FDNY EMS recognizes cardiac arrest survivors and rescuers

11 cardiac arrest survivors were reunited at the 21st Second Chance Ceremony with the rescuers who saved their lives

NEW YORK — The 21st annual Second Chance Ceremony at the FDNY Training Academy is a special recognition event that reunites patients who have survived cardiac arrest with the paramedics, EMTs, FDNY EMS Officers, firefighters, bystanders and other first responders who helped save their lives.

The 11 survivors include two people visiting New York City on vacation, a woman attending mass in Queens, a man playing softball in Brooklyn and an FDNY Fire Alarm Dispatcher who went into cardiac arrest while she dispatched FDNY units to emergencies. Five of the survivors received CPR from bystanders before on-duty FDNY members arrived. Immediate CPR, coupled with defibrillation within the first few minutes after sudden cardiac arrest, can greatly increase a victim’s chance of survival.

“Each of the survivors we welcome for this wonderful ceremony to celebrate National EMS Week 2015 would not be with us if not for the calm, professional response that is a hallmark of FDNY EMTs, paramedics and firefighters,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.

In the 20 years that this ceremony has been held, more than 200 survivors have been reunited with the FDNY members who saved their lives. Also this year, thanks to support from the FDNY Foundation, the FDNY Mobile CPR Training Unit trained its 100,000th person to perform bystander CPR.