An off duty firefighter is calling his latest rescue the greatest of his 27-year career with Ottawa Fire.

Captain Rob Collins is being hailed a hero for saving the life of a referee at his daughter’s ringette game on Sunday at Robert Rochon Sports Ctr Arena in Gatineau, Que. 

“It’s hard to explain – it’s just amazing. You were able to do something so special and bring somebody back,” said Collins.

During the second period of the Under-14 game Collins says the referee collapsed, and did not get up. The Referee Association confirm 43-year-old Jacques Gosselin had suffered a heart attack.

At the time coaches rushed the players off the ice and trainers surrounded the referee. At that point, Collins ran over to Gosselin and started to perform CPR.

Collins says he was not alone in the rescue. The team’s trainer cut the man’s shirt open, another person who was recently trained on how to use a defibrillator brought it over, and an off duty nurse who was in the arena started giving directions and stayed on the line with 911.

After a single shock from the defibrillator Gosselin regained a pulse as paramedics arrived.

Michelle Groves was the off duty nurse who assisted, and says just thinking about the day and team work still gives her chills.

 “It’s in the community, we don’t have all the equipment like a hospital has… there were a couple of other people there who had just done their CPR course, so we had more brain power than needed,” she said.

Gosselin is recovering in a Quebec hospital awaiting heart surgery that is expected to take place in the next two weeks, according to Mathieu Leduc with Gatineau's referee association.

Groves and Collins say this is a reminder about the important of emergency training and keeping defibrillators on site.