Above the Call: Two CDCR employees save a neighbor’s life

While off-duty, Correctional Officer Rory Taylor, left, and Lt. Curtiss Ursenbach helped save a neighbor’s life.

By Lt. Mike Tuntakit, AA/PIO
Avenal State Prison

Two CDCR employees, while off-duty, recently saved a neighbor who had stopped breathing.

At 6:20 p.m. on Friday, April 21, Avenal State Prison Correctional Lt. Curtiss Ursenbach was off duty at his personal residence when he heard screaming coming from his neighbor’s apartment.

Lt. Ursenbach went to check out the situation and when he reached his neighbor’s door, he saw his male neighbor laying over the back of the couch, unresponsive and turning blue.

The girlfriend of the victim was attempting to perform rescue breaths.  Lt. Ursenbach immediately asked his wife to call 911 as he moved the unresponsive victim to the floor.

Off-duty Correctional Officer Rory Taylor, with Central California Women’s Facility, who is also a neighbor arrived to assist.

Ursenbach and Taylor found the victim was without a pulse and not breathing. Ursenbach retrieved his CPR mask and along with Officer Taylor began CPR.  Ursenbach and Taylor continued CPR for approximately five minutes when they felt a slight pulse on the victim.

However, the victim was still not breathing so Ursenbach continued to perform rescue breaths.

The Fresno Fire Department and ambulance personnel arrived and took over treatment.  The victim was transported to a local hospital for further treatment and evaluation.

It was later determined the victim had accidentally overdosed on prescription medication which was not prescribed to him.

Medical staff at the hospital said had it not been for the quick 911 contact combined with response by Ursenbach and Taylor to begin CPR, the male victim would likely have died.


18 Responses

  1. Lory Johnson Thursday, May 25, 2017 / 7:27 am

    It is always wonderful to see our CDCR Officers keeping us safe everywhere.

  2. Chikodi B. Okoro Monday, May 22, 2017 / 3:04 pm

    Thanks a lot, Officers for saving this man!! May God answer you at the point of your needs also.

  3. Constane N. Tacata Monday, May 22, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    Wow–makes me so proud to work at a place, working with true heros like Lt. Curtis Ursenbach, and Ofiicer Rory Taylor, who value life, and will always serve and protect! Nice Job!

  4. A.Ochoa Thursday, May 18, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    Awesome job brothers !!!! Taylor good to see your doing well……..

  5. T. Morton Thursday, May 18, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    LT Ursenbach, and Taylor great job!!!!.

  6. L. Cooper Thursday, May 18, 2017 / 5:28 am

    Great Job You Guys. Taylor great to see you doing well

  7. Aragon Wednesday, May 17, 2017 / 9:51 am

    Hats off to YOU Both, Another Life Saved 🙂

  8. Mary Ann Javauz Wednesday, May 17, 2017 / 9:36 am

    So proud of our Avenal Team and All others that assisted❤

  9. Jose Padilla Wednesday, May 17, 2017 / 9:24 am

    This is a good story. Although we won’t see it in the headlines of our daily papers its nice to see it here. At least the CDCR family knows what truly happens here. Good Job again Guys.

  10. Vaughn Wednesday, May 17, 2017 / 1:10 am

    Hey great job Taylor!

  11. A. Dominquez Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    Great job guys, good to see a fellow Coworker doing a great and selfless act.

  12. Sgt. R. R. Steele Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    Awesome job guys!! Thank you so much for looking out for others. Bless you both.

  13. larry henry Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / 10:26 am

    great job guys

  14. M. Escoto Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / 10:15 am

    Awesome job!!! I love seeing all of the positive things CDCR employees do outside of work!!

  15. PoppaRod Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / 9:56 am

    A couple of C.O.’s with great responses and integrity…. Blessings to both of you guys!!

  16. Jane Rogan CDCR - C.I.W. Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / 9:03 am

    God Bless both of you for saving a life.

  17. Jeanette Lucas Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / 8:52 am

    This is fantastic news to read. Great Job!

  18. S. Smith Tuesday, May 16, 2017 / 8:30 am

    Great job!

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