A Saskatoon man who collapsed at a hockey arena is alive today — thanks to some quick-acting bystanders who grabbed the rink's automated defibrillator.

The 58-year-old man was playing hockey at the Agri-Twins arena on Sunday when he went into cardiac arrest.  

The staff called 911, but before an ambulance crew could arrive, a group of bystanders that included a licensed practical nurse used the on-site defibrillator on the man.

That quick reaction was crucial to the man's survival, said Troy Davies, a spokesman for M-D Ambulance.

"Our typical response time out to that north end is six minutes," Davies said.

"So basically, these guys knew right away. They got the machine on. They defibrillated instantly and saved this guy's life."

Defibrillators started being placed in Saskatoon businesses and city facilities a decade ago. The man is the 8th person to be saved by one, according to M-D Ambulance.