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Niagara Falls man thanks first responders for saving his life

Posted at 11:34 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 23:34:18-05

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — Charlie Ashker of Niagara Falls was driving down Transit Road with his three kids in the car, in May of 2021.

“I can't take you back to that day. I don't remember anything that happened at all that day,” said Ashker.

He doesn't remember because his heart stopped.

With the car on the side of the road, his nine-year-old son, Isaac, acted fast.

“I called mommy,” said the now 10-year-old. “I put the car in park.”

Before a Twin City Ambulance and the Lockport Fire Department arrived, someone nearby was already performing CPR. Moments later, EMS got to Ashker and restarted his heartbeat.

“If the bystanders didn't jump in, we wouldn't be standing here today,” said Peter Burke with the Lockport Fire Department.

On Wednesday, Ashker and his family got a chance to say thank you to the first responders who helped save his life.

“All the pieces that came together from the fire department, the ambulance, the bystanders. Hearing everything, learning about what happened that day, it continues to impress me more and more,” said Ashker.

“Fourteen years I've been working EMS, maybe three times I can talk to someone after cardiac arrest,” added Burke.

A story that highlights the importance of learning CPR, and the fast actions of a nine-year-old.

“He's a true hero,” said Burke.