AUSTIN, Minn. – On Oct. 22, Tom Branden went into cardiac arrest while working the final leg of his shift in Hormel Food’s grocery division at Hormel’s flagship plant in Austin, Minn. He was saved thanks to a team of nine co-workers who came to his rescue, reviving him with the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), reports the Austin Daily Herald.

Branden met at the Hormel Plant on Jan. 18 with his rescuers, all nine of whom were awarded Heartsaver Hero Awards from the American Heart Association during a presentation. He expressed his gratitude with two simple words: “thank you.”

A 26-year Hormel employee, Branden was saved by one of 14 AED units installed around the Austin Plant. With 150 employees trained in the use of the defibrillators, Branden’s rescue was swift and effective, the story says. Supervisors responded to calls that Branden was down and immediately began to administer CPR. Others notified local emergency responders and Hormel’s in-house medical team. The AED unit, which was designed to sense cardiac rhythms and administer shocks when needed, has been credited for saving his life. First taken to Austin Medical Center, Branden was then flown by helicopter to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

All who responded said the most rewarding part of this crisis is seeing Branden alive today.