The ultimate ‘thank you’

Woman has the chance to meet first responders who saved her life

First Responder delivery

Ashleigh Rodgers of Russells Point, left, delivers a personal thank you to Rushcreek Fire Department and EMS members, from the left, Stephanie Bradford, Shannon Stineman and Don Crumm Saturday for their efforts that helped to save her life July 9, 2017. (PHOTO | KATHY ZELLER)

ALSO PICTURED IN MONDAY'S EXAMINER:  Recovery Zone member Rick Anderson hands a self-care kit Thursday to staff to Logan County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ryan Brown while other deputies, including Lt. Joe Kopus, Lt. Ryan Furlong and Deputy Tim Klingelhofer look on. (EXAMINER PHOTO | MANDY LOEHR)

Members of the Recovery Zone in Bellefontaine have traveled to all corners of Logan County during the past week to show their support and gratitude to firefighters, EMTs and law enforcement officers representing 20 different agencies in honor of First Responders Appreciation Week, by passing out gift bags of tokens of their thanks.

Saturday, the group’s efforts ended on an especially meaningful and emotional note, as Recovery Zone member Ashleigh Rodgers of Russells Point had the chance to thank three individuals from Rushcreek Fire and EMS Department whom she credits with saving her life July 9, 2017, following a drug overdose. She said that day provided a turning point for her, and she is now enjoying a sober life with her husband, Ryan, and has worked at Honda Transmission Manufacturing for the past eight months.

While Rodgers and the Recovery Zone group had pre-arranged a meeting that day with Rushcreek Fire and EMS members at the Rushcreek fire house, the fighters and EMTs were called to a structure fire about 9:35 a.m. that day at 135 S. Sandusky St., Rushsylvania. So the special meeting for Rodgers actually took place later that morning near the scene when firefighters could take a break from fighting the blaze.

While wearing turnout gear and EMT uniforms, firefighter/EMT Shannon Stineman, EMT Stephanie Bradford and firefighter Don Crumm had a reunion with Rodgers, who gave them hugs and shared her journey with them.

“This is why we do what we do,” Bradford said. “I do remember that run with Ashleigh,” Stineman said Sunday evening during a phone interview. “It is so special that we got to meet her and this is just something that never happens.

“As an EMT, we don’t get to experience this very much; it is so rare. A lot of times, we don’t find out what happens to the people we transport  to the hospital. It is a small community, but usually we don’t find out much, other than through word of mouth sometimes if we know the person.

“When you hear her story and all that she has been through, it makes me so grateful that I got to be a part of it.

I’m so very proud of her in recovery and I’m pleased to see how well she’s doing.” Rodgers said prior to her overdose, she battled a heroin addiction for about seven years.

Read complete story in Monday's Examiner
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