Columbia resident, firefighters recognized for life-saving achievement

Patrick Roche and four Columbia firefighters were honored for saving Lawrence Terry's life

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins recognized four firefighters and a Richland County

man for their quick action in saving a man’s life.

Lawrence Terry, 34, says of all people, he never thought he would become a victim of cardiac arrest.  

“I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. I don’t do anything, I’m healthy. I’m the track coach at Richland Northeast. In my opinion, the Lord took the healthiest person that most people know, just to show your life could be taken at any moment,” Terry said.

Terry had just put the final touches on his lawn one Wednesday evening, when his neighbor, Patrick Roche, saw something unusual.

“I just walked over there really, I just thought he passed out from cutting grass until I rolled him over and saw how bad the situation was,” Roche said.

Terry lay unresponsive on the concrete with cuts on his body.

Using CPR lessons he learned online, Roche called 9-1-1.

Four firefighters responded, and worked hard to keep Terry alive. They say Roche’s efforts made a big difference.

“What he did was an amazing job. For him just to read it online and for him to actually put in motion was great,” said Captain Thomas Niles of the Columbia Fire Department.

One year after they saved Terry’s life, Roche and the four firefighters got some love for their hard work.

Since then, Terry and Roche have become closer friends. Terry says having a neighbor willing to go the extra mile means the world to him.

“That’s crazy just looking online but it works. I mean there’s proof. I was shocked when he said that too. Luckily he got it right on his first try, so I truly appreciate him,” Terry said.

In addition to Roche, Capt. Thomas Niles, Engineer Brian Sumpter, Senior Firefighter Russell Burgess, and Senior Firefighter Alexander Reese were recognized.

All four firefighters and Roche received certificates from Chief Jenkins. Roche also received a commemorative coin from Chief Jenkins honoring his achievements.

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