A cardiac arrest man died on a Newark street Tuesday night after waiting for an ambulance for almost an hour.

According to witnesses, the incident took place outside St. John’s Church on McCarter Highway, where a Hudson County volunteer nonprofit group serves hundreds of people in need in the city every Tuesday evening.

The man was reportedly waiting in line to get food when he suddenly collapsed.

Help to Feed the Hungry volunteers jumped into action and began resuscitating the man while several others called the ambulance / paramedic multiple times for help.

“Shortly after we started feeding people, one of our regulars suffered cardiac arrest. We tried to keep this man alive for over 45 minutes, ”said one of the nonprofit volunteers.

By the time the ambulance arrived, the stranger had already taken his last breaths and was praying by two members of the nonprofit group while he lay unresponsive on the concrete.

“We managed to feed everyone and stay with the man until help came. In our nearly 5 years we’ve seen a lot of things: drug overdoses, seizures and fights, things we don’t normally talk about. But someone directly dies Seeing those in front of us was extremely difficult for all of us “.

Before the man passed out, I was able to pray for him, “said one of the members of Help to Feed the Hungry.

An apparent shortage in Newark’s ambulance / medic fleet has been a cause for concern since the beginning of January, and response time hasn’t improved much, forcing city officials to act.

On Friday, Newark Mayor The Honorable Ras J. Baraka and Public Safety Director Brian A. O’Hara will announce that Newark Firefighters will serve as first responders to all life-threatening service calls at a press conference at Engine 10, 360 Clinton Avenue , Newark, 2:00 p.m.

Newark firefighters are dispatched to all life-threatening 911 calls that require first responders and medical emergencies, according to city officials.

Mayor Baraka said Newark Firefighters will provide advanced and basic life support services, including heart monitoring and defibrillation, bleeding control, airway cleaning, initial wound care and more.

“Newark Fire Houses will also serve as neighborhood first aid stations and provide basic first aid for minor injuries such as cuts, bloody noses, splinters, etc.,” said Mayor Baraka.

New signs have also been placed on each Newark Fire House notifying residents of these services.