A firehouse defibrillator and a quick-thinking Suffolk police officer probably saved the life of a 74-year-old volunteer Central Islip firefighter who collapsed and was unresponsive Thursday before being revived, officials said.

Firefighter Eugene Cilhar, a 45-year veteran of the department, fell unconscious inside the firehouse at about 3:20 p.m. just after having a conversation with Suffolk County Police Officer Alicia Bentz.

The nine-year veteran officer was waiting to begin her shift at the Central Islip firehouse at 110 Wheeler Rd., where officers pick up their police cruisers before going out on patrol. Bentz said she had just finished speaking to Cilhar and was walking outside when she heard a loud crash from within the firehouse.

"I ran back in and found him on the floor," said Bentz last night. "He wasn't breathing and there was no pulse."

Bentz, a trained emergency medical technician, quickly called emergency workers from her cell phone, grabbed a nearby defibrillator and gave Cilhar a jolt before performing CPR on the unconscious firefighter.

By the time emergency workers arrived, Cilhar was unconscious but breathing on his own, Bentz said.

"It's very gratifying to save someone's life . . . especially someone that I see everyday," Bentz said. "To know I was able to help bring him back, that means a lot to me."

Cilhar, described by Bentz as friendly and nice, was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore and admitted in stable condition, Suffolk County police said.

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