Princeton Police Officer Nathan Herron was awarded a Medal of Valor for direct intervention in saving a woman’s life last month at the West Side Condo Apartments.
Police Chief Chris King awarded Herron with the lifesaving medal during the Princeton City Council meeting last week.
Herron, 35, started at the police department, then transferred to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, volunteered for the Princeton Fire Department, and returned to the police force in 2018.
Princeton has been Herron’s hometown since he was 3.
West Side Condo Apartments was a school several years ago; the building has been renovated and outfitted for residential living. When it was a school, Herron attended third grade there.
“The call was dog bite on its owner, and so we got up there,” Herron said, adding he was the first to arrive on the scene.
John Hibbs was the second police officer to arrive on the scene to assist Herron.
Upon arrival, Herron assessed the situation. Following an investigation, he determined the dog that bit its owner was in a dog fight with a neighboring dog.
Once he realized the woman who suffered the dog bite lost massive amounts of blood and arm tissue, he rushed to apply the tourniquet.
“I didn’t even think about it, I ran and got the tourniquet, noticed pieces of her arm scattered on the ground,”m Herron said.
The daughter of the woman was holding the dog in place and restraining it as Herron worked to apply the tourniquet.
Emergency medical services personnel arrived close to five minutes after Herron.
One of the EMS first responders later told Herron, “dude you saved her life. She would have bled out had you not put that tourniquet on her. You did a great job.”
They replaced Herron’s used tourniquet with a new one.
Herron said the police department acquired the tourniquet equipment a couple months ago.
Herron said the Caldwell County Animal Shelter quarantined the dog and is waiting for the owner to heal and rehabilitate, at which point the dog can be returned to the home.
After the lifesaving event and receiving the medal, Herron touched base with the woman. He noted she is well into her recovery and her mobility is nearly fully restored.
Herron said a police officer’s purpose is to serve the community under a multitude of circumstances to protect them and to enforce the law.
“I’m very proud of it, and I want more people to know that we’re out there doing this kind of stuff,” Herron said. “I believe the moral of it to be that, when we do that, we’re actually trying to save a life and keep the community safer.”
Herron is also one of two Caldwell County school resource officers.