Agencies applaud local officer's timely response
Grandview Heights police officer Zac Scurlock has been recognized by the city for his quick action in saving the life of an overdose victim last June.
Central Ohio Crime Stoppers and Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9 also honored Scurlock last month with their Officer of the Month award.
On June 28, Scurlock and officer Greg Gillespie responded to a 911 hang-up call from a residence in the 1700 block of West First Avenue.
"We weren't sure what was going on, but when we arrived, we heard a man yelling for help somewhere in the house," Scurlock said. "Officer Gillespie entered the home from the front and I went in the back."
The officers were still uncertain where the cries were coming from, so Gillespie went upstairs and Scurlock headed for the basement.
"You always want to be careful, because you don't want to come upon someone pointing a gun at you, so I headed downstairs slowly," Scurlock said.
He found the victim's father, who had been calling for help and had been attempting to perform CPR on his son.
"His son was completely unresponsive. He was not breathing," Scurlock said. "I took over giving chest compressions and in about 30 to 45 seconds, he revived."
Gillespie directed medics, who arrived a couple minutes after the officers, to the basement and they transported the victim to the hospital.
The victim was known to police, and Scurlock said it seemed immediately clear he had suffered a drug overdose.
Officers later found black tar heroin and a needle in the victim's pocket.
"I was just doing what I was trained to do as a police officer," Scurlock said. "It wasn't until later on that I stopped and realized I had saved someone's life."
Scurlock has been a police officer for a little more than a year, joining the Grandview force in May 2012.
To be able to react so quickly and to instinctively translate what he learned during his training into action during a life-and-death situation "is just tremendous," Police Chief David Wood said.
"I've always wanted to be a cop," Scurlock said. "I've always had the knack for wanting to be there when something serious happens. When there's trouble, I always wanted to go toward it and not run from it."
Helping others is what makes police work so satisfying, he said.
"It's been everything I hoped it would be," Scurlock said of the job. "It's been a lot of fun."
He said he has learned much from his fellow officers.
"I love working in Grandview. We have a great chief and the officers work so well as a team supporting each other," Scurlock said. "I know they've got my back."