This 63-year-old firefighter is alive today thanks to a fateful decision he made several months earlier.

Bill Staudt has been a New York City firefighter for the last 36 years, but he only recently had the idea to lobby for a defibrillator in the fire department building.

Upon submitting a request to the department’s management team, the building in Queens was finally equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED) device.

It’s a good thing that he did, too; back in September, only several months after he submitted the request, Staudt suddenly felt a burning sensation in his chest as was walking back to his desk.

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Next thing he knew, he was in the back of an ambulance.

Staudt had gone into cardiac arrest – and thanks to the recently-equipped AED device in his building, his fellow first responders were able to resuscitate him and bring him to the hospital.

“He’s a subset of patients who have cardiac arrest without known cause,” Dr. JoonHyuk Kim from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens told WLNY. “When a person has cardiac arrest outside a hospital setting, the survival rate is very low.”

Though he now has an implanted defibrillator that will monitor his heart in the future, Staudt is alive thanks to the AED – and doctors hope that Staudt’s survival story serves as a lesson to others on the importance of having a defibrillator in the workplace.

(WATCH the news coverage below or our international viewers can watch the footage on the CBS News website) – Photo by WLNY

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