In a ceremony held on October 26, 2023, two East Texas troopers were recognized and awarded the Lifesaving Award for their heroic actions that saved lives in separate incidents. Trooper Justin Craig of the Texas Highway Patrol Division – Longview received the Lifesaving Award for his actions on December 26, 2022, while Trooper Toby Clifton of the Texas Highway Patrol Division – Henderson received the award for his actions on January 19, 2023.
Trooper Justin Craig's remarkable lifesaving act unfolded on December 26, 2022, in response to a report from the Longview Police Department regarding a drug overdose in progress. Trooper Craig was nearby and quickly arrived at the scene. There, he discovered an unconscious individual in the driver's seat of an SUV. Utilizing his expertise as a drug recognition expert, Trooper Craig recognized telltale signs of a narcotics-related overdose, including cold, clammy skin, shallow breathing, a weak pulse, and extremely constricted pupils.
Without hesitation, Trooper Craig administered Narcan to the individual, a crucial antidote for opioid overdoses. When Longview PD Officers arrived, Trooper Craig requested their assistance in removing the subject from the vehicle and placing them in a recovery position. However, when the individual's symptoms did not improve, he administered additional Narcan. Shortly thereafter, EMS personnel arrived and transported the individual to a medical center.
During transport, the subject began to regain consciousness, and by the time Trooper Craig arrived at the medical center, the individual was fully alert and capable of communicating. Trooper Craig's swift response and medical expertise undoubtedly saved a life.
Trooper Toby Clifton's heroic act occurred on January 19, 2023, when he was called to assist Rusk County Sheriff's Deputies with a welfare check of a suicidal individual. Upon arrival, he witnessed deputies struggling with the individual, who was covered in blood. In a high-stress situation, Trooper Clifton observed arterial bleeding from the individual's right forearm.
Acting quickly and without hesitation, Trooper Clifton applied a tourniquet to the upper bicep, effectively stemming the loss of blood. Additionally, he administered a pressure dressing to further address the injury. Thanks to Trooper Clifton's rapid and effective actions, the individual became somewhat compliant and was safely transported to a local hospital.
At the hospital, medical professionals were able to repair the severed artery, ensuring the individual's survival.