Firefighter thanks EMTs who saved his life 30 years ago

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Columbia, Tennessee, man drove hours to thank two emergency responders that he says saved his life more than 30 years ago.

On June 24, 1984 Washington County and Johnson City responders Randy Anderson and Richard Donoho responded to a call.

Randy Anderson and Richard Donoho
Randy Anderson and Richard Donoho

“I remember rolling up to the scene; it was on a hemorrhage,” Anderson told News 2.

After transporting the woman to the hospital, the doctor informed Anderson and Donoho the woman had just given birth at home.

The two responders rushed back to the home and made an unbelievable discovery in the basement.

“It was just like an old swing door, you know, dirt floor basement,” Anderson explained.

There inside a dresser drawer they found the baby, Rhett Lashley, wrapped in newspaper.

“I was wrapped up and placed in a drawer and the drawer was shut,” Lashley told News 2.

Lashley took his dark past and turned it around for the positive. He is now an EMT and firefighter for multiple stations in Middle Tennessee.

Rhett Lashley
Rhett Lashley

“It gives me a greater appreciation for life, being alive is a blessing,” Lashley said.

He is also a father of four and says that life-saving rescue inspires him daily.

“It just kind of motivated me to do everything I can in this field,” Lashley explained.

Now, decades later, Lashley decided to track down the two retired emergency responders who saved his life. He drove from his home in Columbia to Johnson City, 325 miles away.

“It was such a surreal experience; it just felt like thank you wasn’t enough,” Lashley said.

The experience was just as special to the responders.

“Now he’s a grown, EMT, firefighter,” Anderson said with a smile. “It just makes you proud.”

Lashley also told News 2 he plans to keep in touch with the responders.

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