Elizabethton police officer receives Lifesaver award

Published 8:33 am Monday, September 16, 2019

Thursday evening, the Elizabethton City Council awarded patrolman Lance Peters the Lifesaving Award for actions performed in assisting a man on June 23.

Peters said he was driving home that night when he came across a man on the side of the road with a wound in his leg, a wound he said looked to be self-inflicted.

“My training took over,” Peters said. “I had to make a tourniquet from his belt.”

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Peters said the award was unexpected, in part because he said what he did was just part of the job description.

He said he is coming up on two years in the force.

“My father was in law enforcement,” he said. “It is something I was always drawn to. It is the family business.”

He said the unexpected award is also partly because actions like that are part of a long list of duties officers perform without public notice.

“A lot of what we do goes unnoticed,” Peters said. “We are constantly out here helping society.”

Part of these invisible responsibilities include community calls. Whether it is to answer a simple question or settle a dispute, Peters said if someone makes the call, dispatch sends them out regardless of what is going on.

Not wishing the spotlight to rest solely with him, he said he is not the only officer in the force who has earned such recognition.

“A lot of officers have the same award,” he said. “I was just at the right place at the right time.”

The difference between how he handles such intense situations compared to average citizens, he said, comes down to training.

“It all comes down to training,” Peters said. “It is about staying focused on the task at hand.”

The victim in question, he said, was actually wanted of a crime, but such a status does not stop Peters from doing what he signed on to do.

“We are here to save lives,” Peters said. “It does not matter who you are or what you have done.”

He said the award he received Thursday evening is not just an award for himself. It is a recognition of the duties of the average police officer.