TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local man was reunited with the first responders who saved his life after he went into cardiac arrest at work. The sudden event highlights the importance of getting CPR certified, and on Saturday, the man’s family and coworkers were trained on the life-saving skill.

When someone goes into cardiac arrest, every second matters.

On Aug. 31, when Darrell Kinmartin was working construction on Young Street in Tonawanda, he had a heart attack.

“I just lost it. Passed out. I didn’t feel sick, anything all day. I felt OK,” Darrell Kinmartin said.

Twin City Ambulance paramedics Allison Sherry and Elnaz just happened to be right around the corner getting coffee when they received the call. In a matter of minutes, they were on scene and began administering CPR.

“Early defibrillation, early CPR it really does save lives,” Sherry said.

Their quick response saved Darrell’s life, who regained a pulse and started breathing on his own.

“Unfortunately you work enough cardiac arrests you kinda know, unfortunately this isn’t going well for the patient kind of thing, it was like, every great sign possible, he really has a chance, I think he’ll come through. We’re making it to Buffalo General,” Sherry said.

“It’s really just a race against time, it really is,” Elnaz said.

“These ladies? Terrific. Thank god they went to Tim Hortons, I’d be in trouble,” Darrel said.

On Saturday, Darrell’s family and coworkers attended a free CPR class at Twin City Ambulance. To not only learn the skill, but meet the people who saved Darrell’s life.

“Who saved my dad? I need to know. To physically meet these people, it was emotional,” Darrell’s daughter Amanda said.

“Our lives could’ve gone in a whole different direction. He wouldn’t be here without them,” Darrell’s wife Cheri said. “CPR is very important. We know that now.”

“Great work guys, my family is so grateful, everyone is. Just a great team of people,” Darrell said.

For information on CPR training and other services provided by Twin City Ambulance, click here.

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.