Heroism earns honor for Ojai
by Lenny Roberts
The Peace Officers Association of Ventura County recognized two
Ojai men for bravery Saturday night at its annual awards dinner
in Ventura by presenting them the Medal of Merit, its highest
On the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 3, 2001, Matthew Scesney, his
wife and 8-year-old son were heading to Lego-Land in San Diego
County. Near Santa Monica Boulevard on the San diego Freeway,
Scesney observed a 64-year-old Pacoima man slumped over the wheel
of his truck. Scesney found the man was pulseless and not breathing.
"Selflessly, without regard for his own personal safety,
Mr. Scesney brought the man out to the pavement and began CPR,
as hundreds of motorist passed him by," said POAVC Director
Two young ladies and a man actually stopped, but neither knew
the basics of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. When he asked them
to simply blow air into the dying man's lungs, all three declined
because the man kept vomiting bile. They did, however, improperly
attempt chest compression.
Scesney performed CPR on the non-responsive man for several minutes
while Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to the
numerous 911 calls that had been placed by motorists. The victim
was ultimately taken to the University of California at Los Angeles
Medical Center after LAFD paramedics took over efforts to save
"Despite the heroic efforts of Mr. Scesney, the paramedics
and the hospital staff, the victim was pronounced dead at UCLA.
Mr. Scesney was examined and treated at the UCLA Medical Center
to protect him against possible infections stemming from his
life-saving efforts," Findlay said.
Timothy Norcott was also presented with the award for entering
a burning Oak View home in the early evening hours of October
26, 2001. Norcott was on his way home northbound on Highway 33
about a half-mile out of Oak View he noticed the corner house
on Santa Ana Road was on fire. With the carport was almost totally
involved, he attempted to put water on the flames but, the garden
hose had no water. According to Findlay, Norcott then decided
to check inside the residence and see if anyone was inside. He
kicked open the front door and stepped inside about 4 or 5 feet,
but the flames and smoke were too overpowering. He called out
however there was no response from inside.
"Tim had no way of knowing that Isabel Da Silva and her
20-month-old grandson had run out the back door and up the hill
away from the house," Findlay said, adding that Norcott
returned outside and tried another garden hose with the same
"At this time, Tim noticed a bird cage with several birds
inside in the carport and very close to the flames, and reached
for the cage and found it to be hot. Tim tore the top of the
cage off to free the birds."
Norcott reached in and grabbed two doves, which he put in his
pockets to save for the owners. The parakeets, however, flew
away. After firefighters arrived, Norcott remained in the area
directing traffic for about an hour.
"Because of his willingness to enter a burning building
to aide another at the risk of his own safety, the Peace Officer's
Association of Ventura County is proud to present Timothy Norcott,
with the Citizen's Medal of Merit," Findlay said.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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