CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A Charleston man who went into cardiac arrest earlier this year finally got the chance to meet the first responders who saved his life.

Kevin Strader was at his home when he went into cardiac arrest. His family tried to revive him and called a neighbor, who is also a nurse, to assist. That neighbor began compressions and kept them up until EMS and fire crews arrived.

The first responders were able to stabilize Strader and get him to the hospital, where he spent 45 days.

He is now taking the time to thank those who helped save his life, and encourage people to know the signs of a heart attack and how to help someone who may be going into cardiac arrest.

“To me, what’s important is that they know that their job really is very important, and that they see the fruits of their labor,” Strader said.

He also said that taking health seriously is crucial, and that knowing CPR can be the difference between life and death. Strader said that his wife and neighbor starting CPR early might be what saved him from brain damage.

The first responders present said that people shouldn’t be scared to get involved, as getting involved early might save a life.