Cohuna farmer Bill Frantz says he is lucky to be alive after having a cardiac arrest at the Spring Gully Dance Club earlier this year.
The 80-year-old was dancing at the Spring Gully Recreation Centre in March when he began to lose consciousness.
"I don't remember anything from that night," Mr Frantz said. "I don't even remember driving out here or nothing. The next memory I had was when I woke up in the Royal Melbourne Hospital."
Quick-thinking dance club members Marlene Murdoch, John Clay, and Steve Beck performed CPR and used the centre's defibrillator on Mr Frantz while they waited for paramedics and the Country Fire Authority to arrive.
Paramedic Joshua King, who was one of the first responders on the night, said it was those actions which saved Mr Frantz's life.
"Only about one in 10 people survive a cardiac arrest," Mr King said. "A key to surviving is early bystander intervention, calling an ambulance, starting CPR and using a defibrillator as soon as possible.
"The biggest thing was having that defibrillator here. The dance committee and the hall have had a defibrillator here for some time but it was the first time it's ever been used."
With the aid of the CFA, Mr Frantz was airlifted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where he was fitted for a pacemaker. He said his recovery from there was quick.
"I feel fit as a fiddle," he said. "I had to take it easy for a week or so. After that, I could do general farm work but couldn't go mad.
"But it was only about 10 days before I was back on my motorbike and driving tractors and that sort of thing.
"You feel a bit strange with something ticking away inside you at the start, but it doesn't worry me in the slightest now."
Mr Frantz was reunited with those who saved his life at the Spring Gully Recreation Centre on Sunday.
"He looks a million dollars," Mr Beck said. "It was a frightening thing but it can happen any time, anywhere.
"It was the first time in my life I had been in that situation even though I have had first aid training for many years. It's one of those things that you never know when you're going to need to use it."
Bendigo CFA senior station officer Greg Stead, who was also on scene that night, said the story showed how vital it was for community groups, sporting clubs, and other organisations to purchase and register a defibrillator with Ambulance Victoria.
"They're certainly becoming more common which is a great thing to see," Mr Stead said. "That early intervention certainly gives people the chance of survival."
Mr Frantz said he was extremely thankful for the support he received.
"If they hadn't responded, I would have been six foot under now," he said. "I realise how lucky I was that they were here. I wouldn't be here otherwise, that's for sure."
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