THOMASTON, Maine — Daniel Allen said he was two minutes from death but is able to have a second chance at life, thanks to the heroes who came to his aid.

The 61-year-old suffered a near-fatal heart attack on the afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 16, as he was shoveling snow outside Camden National Bank at Park and Main streets in Rockland.

But a combination of factors helped Allen to survive the crisis.

First was Ed Colson, who was nearby and rushed to Allen’s side to quickly begin chest compressions. Someone called 911 and within a minute, Rockland Police Officer William Smith, who is a former paramedic, was there performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Smith said Monday that he was on patrol just around the corner from where Allen collapsed and was able to get there fast. The officer also said he’s had some practice, having helped to revive about a dozen people over 27 years.

Smith said Allen had a slight pulse at first but that it stopped and the officer began the life-saving action which restored a heartbeat. Smith continued with CPR until a Rockland emergency medical services crew arrived from the fire station further up Park Street. They took over and transported Allen by ambulance to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport.

“You are part of an elite group who have come back,” Smith told Allen as they met at the Thomaston’s man home on Monday.

The officer said the rescue was part of a team effort, which started with Colson and continued with the emergency medical services crew.

“A lot of right things happened,” Smith said, pointing out where Allen had the heart attack and the fact that Rockland has paramedics on duty 24 hours a day just up the street.

Allen said it was difficult to express enough thanks to his rescuers.

“There is no way I can repay Bill other than with my simple and deep feelings of thanks,” Allen said.

The 61-year-old Thomaston man said he believes he was saved for a greater purpose.

“I was two minutes from being totally dead. I believe God chose me not to come home yet,” said Allen, who added that he is considering going into nursing after he recovers.

He is thankful for the medical care he received and said he realized while hospitalized that there is a need for more male nurses.

Allen’s wife, Ann, said her husband’s rescue shows what police officers and other civil servants do on a regular basis. She said that while police are often criticized, responses like this by Smith go to the heart of their service to the community.

Allen is employed by Maine Stone & Landscape as a landscape architect. During the winter, however, he also does snow removal. He said he was never aware he had any heart problems.

On that Saturday afternoon, the last thing Allen recalls is talking to a co-worker who was going to shovel at Rite Aid as he was going across the street to shovel at the bank. That memory only came back to him on Sunday, Allen said.

His next memory is four days later at the hospital with his sister from Texas sitting across from him.

Allen was taken initially to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport and then to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Doctors found that one artery in his heart was 100 percent blocked and another 75 percent blocked. Doctors initially placed him in an induced coma to prevent any damage to his brain from lack of oxygen. They later performed bypass surgery and he spent 18 days in the hospital before being released on Feb. 3.

The prognosis is good, he said. He will be working on cardiac rehabilitation at Pen Bay for six weeks and he must avoid physical work for six months. He said that as a landscape architect, he can help design projects but must avoid the physical work.

Allen said the only discomfort he has now is from the broken sternum and broken ribs that occurred during the CPR and surgery.

The Allens reached out to Smith and Colson to offer their thanks and invited them to come to the house. They have not yet met up with Colson, but Smith stopped by on Valentine’s Day to visit and give a rose to Allen’s wife.

Ann Allen said Smith didn’t need to do that.

“He already gave me my Valentine’s gift,” she said, referring to her husband’s life.