Heart Attack Survivor Pays Tribute To Rescuers

October 20, 2010 Updated Oct 20, 2010 at 7:18 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

October 20, 2010 Updated Oct 20, 2010 at 7:18 PM EDT


William Carroll is alive today thanks to several off-duty Niagara Falls firemen who came to his rescue when he dropped to the ground right in front of the firefighters, after having a heart attack. Carroll met with each of them face to face Wednesday to say thank you. But, saying those words didn't seem quite adequate for William Carroll, "I can't thank everybody, everywhere here enough," said Carroll.

On July 19th, Carroll suffered a heart attack at the Water Street Landing restaurant in Lewiston. Four off-duty Niagara Falls firemen came to Carroll's rescue after his collapse.

"We was just sitting at the table, turned around and the gentleman passed out...Mr. Carroll...and we thought just passed out but all of a sudden we realized he had a heart attack, so we started CPR, called 911 right away and the fire company arrived very quickly," remembered Captain Thomas Colangalo one of the Niagara Falls Fire rescuers.

"You don't have time to think honestly, if you wait and take time to think, a few seconds could mean the difference between life and death," said Thomas Tedesco, also one of the firefighters that was part of the rescue.

Carroll was taken to Mount Saint Mary's hospital.

"There's no question from what I've learned from the post-operative care and everything, I would be gone. In fact somebody told me that I was dead when I hit the ground," said Carroll.

Carroll and his wife planned Wednesday's event to honor the men he now calls his heroes, meeting them face-to-face to tell them exactly how their life-saving efforts that night changed his life forever.

"It's great to meet Bill and see that he's okay. And for him to thank us it means a lot and it lets us know that our training does pay off and people are grateful for what we do," said Captain Jeffrey Fraizer, of the Niagara Falls Fire Department.

The Mayor of Niagara Falls, Paul Dyster, also attended Wednesday's event and tells Eyewitness News the city previously held a ceremony for the firefighters at City Hall.