When Robert Reiche saw a man in distress… he literally leapt into action.

The off-duty emergency room nurse was riding up the chairlift at Calabogie Peaks Resort, Thursday afternoon, when he saw a man collapse at the base of the mountain.

The 53-year-old Ottawa man was suffering from cardiac arrest.

Reiche jumped about 10 to 15 feet from the chairlift into some deep snow. He was able to kick off his skis before running to the man’s side, calling 911 and starting CPR.

“He acted in the moment in this skier’s best interest. And I believe that made the difference between life and death. It started a series of events that all had to work perfectly together,” says Michael Nolan, Chief Paramedic of Renfrew County.

Ski patrol arrived shortly after with an on-site defibrillator. One shock was delivered.

Paramedics then airlifted the man by helicopter to hospital for treatment.

The patient is now recovering at the Ottawa Heart Institute.

A spokesperson for the Queensway-Carleton Hospital told CTV News Reiche was too busy for interviews, today, saving more lives in the emergency room.

With a report from CTV’s John Hua