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.