Montgomery County officers receive Medal of Valor for saving man from burning car
BETHESDA, Md. (ABC7) —
Two Montgomery County police officers were given a Medal of Valor on Friday for rescuing an unconscious man from a burning car on Sept. 1, 2015.
The incident was caught on one of the officer's "in-car camera." The video shows a car on the beltway going up in flames, while 34-year-old Rasad Isreal was trapped inside, unconscious.
Montgomery County police officer Cody Fields, who was the first to arrive on the scene, ran toward the burning car.
"The flames are coming up, they're nibbling at our feet, they're coming up, and we see the dashboard melting, see the windshield melting, just everything around us is kind of completely becoming more and more engulfed in flames," Officer Fields said.
Also putting his safety on the line, Officer Brian Nesbitt arrived on the scene, and ran in to help.
The driver's side of the car was blocked against the jersey walls of the beltway, and the officers were forced to use the passenger side door to get into the vehicle. Once officers were able to get the door open, they reached in, grabbed Israel from the driver's seat, and dragged him across the center console, while fighting the seat belt he was wearing.
"I'm very thankful for them," Israel said.
On Friday, Israel got a chance to say thank you in person to the two men who saved his life.
"Four or five seconds longer it would have been a wrap. I would have been gone," Israel said.
The two officers we're honored for their brave actions at the 42nd Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce-Public Safety Awards, and received a standing ovation as they were given the gold medal of valor, the highest award given in the police department.