Boy Seeks First Responders Who Saved His Life as a Toddler to Thank Them

Robby fell into a creek near his Colorado home when he was just 1 year old.

ByNICOLE PELLETIERE
February 23, 2016, 9:43 AM

— -- A Colorado boy who nearly died as a toddler is searching for the first responders who saved his life.

Robby Smith, 8, fell into a creek near his Colorado home on the morning of March 3, 2009, before Good Samaritans saw and pulled him out, according to Robby's mother, Chris Smith.

Now, her son is hoping to thank each one of the people who rescued him on that day, she said.

"Robby told me about 5 months ago that he wanted to meet the people who saved him," Smith told ABC News. "Rob said he wanted to hug them. ... I am proud of Robby every day. He is the nicest kid ever."

Karl Bentley, firefighter paramedic of West Metro Fire Rescue in Lakewood, Colorado, received the call on the day Robby fell into the water.

"A bystander said saw what he said looked like a doll and he went and pulled Robby out," Bentley recalled of the incident. "[Robby's] heart-rate was so low, so we had to start CPR on him. He was already in bad shape by the time he was found."

Bentley and the other responders were able to stabilize Robby inside the ambulance before reaching the hospital.

PHOTO: On March 3, 2009, Robby fell into a creek near his Colorado home when he was just one month shy of his 2nd birthday.
On March 3, 2009, Robby fell into a creek near his Colorado home when he was just one month shy of his 2nd birthday.
West Metro Fire Rescue

And on Feb. 20, almost a decade later, Bentley said Robby surprised him at the fire station, thanking him for saving his life when he was 1 year old.

"A lot of times we do what we do, and we see what we see and we never get any feedback on it," Bentley said. "He's such a young kid and it was cool that he wanted to go out of his way to show appreciation. ... I guess it shows the young man he's becoming."

Robby's mom said her son has been looking for every person involved in his rescue, but she recently learned that one of the men who pulled Robby out of the creek had died.

The family hopes their local news will help them find Ralph Montoya, the retired paramedic who did CPR on Robby.

"It is all an amazing story. So many people had to be in the right place at the right time for Robby to have lived," Chris Smith said.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events