On his first day at work, he was asked to have a small talk with a firefighter who figured out who the teenager really was.
There are very few who get to know and spend time with people who saved their life. This extraordinary encounter became a reality for a teenager from Tennessee, who had no prior knowledge that the firefighters he was interning with were the very individuals who assisted in his own birth. OT Harris, now an 18-year-old, told TODAY, "The firefighters who sign my paychecks delivered me (as a baby)." He is an incoming student at East Tennessee State University in Tennessee.
It all happened 18 years ago on New Year's Day. Harris's mom Lateshia Hall went into labor at her mother's house two days before her scheduled due date. "I wasn't expecting OT to arrive but he felt differently," said the mother. She could not sleep that night and when she was using the bathroom, she went into labor. Hall's mom called 911 and members of the Knoxville Fire Department arrived as the baby's head was out.
Hall recalled, "I told the firemen, 'This is baby number seven and we're going to have a baby right now.' One big push and OT was here." The mother raised her family in Knoxville and never thought that Harris would meet the firefighters who helped her that night till she got to know that he was accepted into Knoxville's "Summer in the City Intern Program." It is an eight-week paid internship for teenagers to get to know more about their local government.
Harris wants to major in English with a minor in education. He will be helping the fire department with administrative tasks and social media strategy. On his first day at work, he was asked to have a small talk with a firefighter who figured out who the teenager really was.
Moreover, Mark Wilbanks, the assistant fire chief and a paramedic who is Harris's summer mentor, remembers his birth. "I just assisted in the delivery — OT's mother did all the work," said Wilbanks. He has assisted many similar emergency births over the years but he remembers the teenager's birth because of Hall's "calm, cool and collected" demeanor. "Afterward, we cleared the scene and went back to the firehouse," he recalled. "It's just one of those things."
Talking about his intern, Wilbanks said that Harris has already impressed the whole team with his charisma and motivation and they think of him as "part of the family."
In another similar story, Xavier Dimples shared that he met a firefighter named Jeff Ohs 23 years later after he saved him from a house fire when he was 2 years old. Dimples posted a picture of the fireman carrying him when he was 2 years old along with a photo of the recent meet-up with him, Dimples is seen smiling and holding his 2-year-old son while Ohs is looking at the child. The pictures are captioned, "When I was 2 years old my house caught on fire and I was trapped inside, I ended up dying that day & this firefighter, Jeff Ohs, saved me from that building and brought me back to life. Now 23 years later he is holding my 2-year-old son. I literally wouldn’t be here without him."
When I was 2 years old my house caught on fire & I was trapped inside, I ended up dying that day & this firefighter, Jeff Ohs, saved me from that building & brought my back to life. Now 23 years later he is holding my 2 year old son. I literally wouldn’t be here without him pic.twitter.com/FLxmKG19DF— XD (@XavierDimples) May 30, 2023