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Officers Rescue Unconscious Man from Burning Vehicle - Receive Medal of Valor

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 10, 2016

Montgomery County Police Officers Cody Fields and Brian Nesbitt have been awarded the Montgomery County Police Department - Medal of Valor, the highest award given by the Department, for their heroism and bravery while rescuing an unconscious individual from a burning vehicle.  The rescue was captured on Officer Field's in-car camera and target="_blank">the video is being released to the public for the first time.

Tomorrow, the officers are being recognized for their life-saving efforts at the 42nd Annual Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce - Public Safety Awards and are receiving the Gold Award*.

On September 1, 2015, at approximately 12:19 a.m., officers were dispatched to a collision on the outerloop of Interstate 495 between Georgia Avenue and Connecticut Avenue. As officers were responding, the 9-1-1 dispatcher informed officers that witnesses were reporting that the vehicle was smoking and that the driver was still inside.

Officer Cody Fields arrived at the scene of the collision within three minutes and observed the vehicle on the left shoulder of Interstate 495; the driver's side of the vehicle was against the Jersey wall.  The engine compartment was on fire and the car was quickly filling with smoke. Officer Fields rushed to the passenger side of the vehicle and observed that the driver was still in the driver's seat of the vehicle and was unconscious.

Checking the passenger side door and window and determining they were locked, Officer Fields used his ASP baton to break the front, passenger window; the area outside of the vehicle filled with a great deal of smoke.  Officer Fields was then able to reach in the car and unlock the door.  Officer Brian Nesbitt, who had just arrived, rushed to assist Officer Fields.

Officer Fields reached in from the front, passenger side of the vehicle while Officer Nesbitt entered the rear, passenger side of the car.  Working together, both officers were able to remove the operator from the vehicle.  The fire began to spread from the engine to the passenger compartment.

Immediately, Officers Fields and Nesbitt began medically accessing the unconscious driver.  Fire & Rescue personnel arrived and continued care.  The 34-year-old driver was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The two officers were checked by medical personnel at the scene.

Fire & Rescue personnel who responded to the collision commented that if not for the quick and heroic actions of Officer Fields and Officer Nesbitt, the driver would have succumbed to either smoke inhalation or the flames from the fire.

Chief Tom Manger says of the officers' actions, "Officers Cory Fields and Brian Nesbitt placed their own lives in danger and exhibited uncommon bravery and dedication when they rescued Mr. Isreal, who was unconscious, from his burning vehicle."

Officer Cody Fields has been a Montgomery County police officer for approximately three years, and Officer Brian Nesbitt has been a Montgomery County police officer for approximately 12 years.  Both officers patrol the 3rd District.

*In addition to these two officers, other Montgomery County Police officers will be recognized at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce - Annual Public Safety Awards tomorrow.  A press release with additional information about these officers and their awards will be issued tomorrow.


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Note to Media: Officer Cody Fields and Mr. Isreal (the man the officers rescued), will be available to speak to the media tomorrow, March 11, at 11:00 a.m. at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce - Annual Public Safety Awards held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and County Conference Center (5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, Maryland 20852).  If you have questions, please call the Public Information Office (240-773-5030, option 4) tomorrow after 8:00 a.m.

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Release ID: 16-048
Media Contact: mcpnews 
Categories: award, life-saving-actions