GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Greenville Fire Rescue crews were honored Thursday. One of the men in the audience was a man saved by one of these crews. He says he is lucky to be alive and owes his life to Greenville Fire Rescue. It all started on an ordinary day at work for Mike Kachman. Things quickly took a turn for the worse.
“I knew it was really bad,” Mike Kachman says.
Then 49-years-old, Kachman was having a heart attack. He quickly called 911 and soon Greenville Fire Rescue was on the scene. Kachman says he didn’t realize the severity of the situation at the time.
“I made a joke to them,” Kachman says. “They hit the sirens and I’m like ‘the hospital is right across the street. I feel better. So you don’t need to run the sirens’ and then I don’t remember anything.”
Kachman’s heart had stopped. Luckily, Greenville Fire Rescue crews got him to the hospital. Their quick response aiding in his survival. Thursday, Kachman made a point to thank the men he says saved his life.
“I turned 50 the month after it happened so hopefully I still have another 25, 30, 40 years left,” says Kachman. “I have 3 young girls and I want to see them grow up and go to college so it means everything to me.”
That sentiment, echoed by the crew. Lt. Chris Cieszko says being able to shake Kachman’s hand is why he does his job.
“So to be able to look at somebody that you know was pulseless and not breathing and that you’ve made a huge difference in their life,” says Lt. Cieszko. “They come and shake your hand, they tell you their wife appreciates it, their children appreciate it and most of all they appreciate it. That’s a wonderful feeling.”
Cieszko says seeing a positive outcome gives him purpose.
“That’s what you wake up every day for and you look to make that meaningful difference in folks lives, every day,” Cieszko says.
Kachman says he hopes his appreciation sticks with the crew.
“No matter how bad it gets or how tough a day they have or something like that, their job is one of the most meaningful jobs and they deserve all the recognition and praise,” Kachman says.