Renfrew County paramedics are crediting the quick thinking of a local nurse and others for helping save the life of an Ottawa-area man who collapsed at the base of Calabogie Peaks on Thursday.

Steve Jordan, 53, told the CBC's Stu Mills that he was finishing up a day of skiing with friends Thursday afternoon.

He was waiting to go up on a chairlift at about 3:45 p.m. when a pain shot through his heart, and he blacked out.

That's all he could remember, Jordan said.

Fortunately, a nurse at the Queensway Carleton Hospital who had just gotten on the chairlift looked back, saw Jordan lying in the snow, and decided to jump.

"Reports are it was a little over [three metres] high, and he came down into a big powder bowl of snow, kicked off his skis, ran over and immediately assessed the person and started CPR," said Renfrew County paramedic chief Michael Nolan on Friday.

'Every piece fell into place perfectly'

A ski hill staff member ran to call 911 and get a public-access defibrillator that Calabogie Peaks installed more than a year ago, Nolan said.


Renfrew County paramedic chief Michael Nolan says fast response times and quick thinking helped save the life of an Ottawa-area man on Thursday. (Stu Mills/CBC)

"And after one shock and some CPR, this individual then started to wake up and … complain of chest pain, started to talk to the ski patrollers and the nurse who was doing CPR," Nolan said.

Paramedics took over to begin other forms of treatment, and an air ambulance landed in the parking lot.

"Within 90 minutes, from the time he collapsed in the line at the lift, he was in the operating room at the [University of Ottawa] Heart Institute, getting his … heart fully restored.

"Every piece fell into place perfectly," Nolan said. "If [the nurse] had been 20 feet higher, certainly he would have had to wait and go up and come back down, and those precious seconds and minutes … absolutely make the difference of a lifetime."