A Korean War Veteran is crediting the swift actions of local firefighters in Saratoga Springs, NY with saving his life after he collapsed while serving as Master of Ceremonies at a 9/11 Remembrance Day event.

Eugene “Gene” Corsale remembers reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before collapsing at the podium in front of his grandson.  His heart had stopped.

“I was ready to introduce the police, and that was the end of it,” he said. “I woke up in the emergency room.”

Despite the experience, Corsale insists that he was lucky.

Via the Times Union:

Looking back, the 2008 New York State Veteran of the Year says his heart picked a fine time to stop ticking. Attending the 9/11 service to recall those lost in the terrorist attacks of 11 years ago were members of the Saratoga Springs Fire Department, who had brought a truck with medical equipment.

When Corsale collapsed, the firefighters broke ranks and sprang into action. When they reached Corsale with a heart monitor, they found he had no pulse, Chief Robert Williams said Friday. The firefighters administered manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation, electric shocks to Corsale’s chest with a heart defibrillator and medications, which restarted his heart, Williams said.

“We were able to get him to where he had a strong pulse and he was beginning to respond to his name,” said Williams, who was at the scene. “He had the right people and the right equipment close by,” Williams said.

At the scene and credited for quick thinking and transporting Corsale to the hospital were Capt. Robert Murphy, lieutenants John Stewart and Michael Woodcock, and firefighters Michael O’Reilly, Jason Yourdon, Brian Kissinger, Jack Longo, Nicholas Colucci, Jeffrey Alonzo, Jordan Daviero and Matthew Daviero.

Please read the rest, including a brief history of Corsale’s service to his country in the Navy, and his service to fellow veterans after the war.