“I’ve always wanted to be able to help people who can’t help themselves or who are in positions where they are not able to take care of themselves,” said Deputy Jacob Martin when asked why he wanted to go into law enforcement.
Martin has been with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office for over six years.
“I started in corrections back in 2016 which is a big learning experience,” he said. “Going from never being involved in law enforcement to that is a big jump, and then moving out to patrol and going through the academy. You kind of build yourself as a person and find out who you truly are and what you like and what you don’t like.”
Over the weekend he conducted a welfare check on a woman at the request of her daughter.
When he got to the home on Wolfenbarger Lane in North Knoxville he met with a family member who said a woman was inside and needed help.
“While talking to her I saw smoke coming out of the roof of the house, so I immediately made entry into the house which was filled with smoke,” Martin explained. “I then tried to locate her calling out to her.”
When he found the woman she was unresponsive. Body camera video of Martin’s response was released by the Sheriff’s Office.
“I could just tell she just wasn’t in the right state of mind,” he said. “So I grabbed her and put her over my shoulders and then carried her out of the front doors of the house to family members and put her in the back of my patrol car and put an emergency blanket over her to cover her up and keep her warm.”
She was taken to a nearby hospital. Rural Metro arrived shortly after and put out the fire. Martin said he was just doing what he knew he had to do.
“As far as going in a house that was on fire, no, that was a first for me,” he chuckled. He said he would do it again to save another life
“There’s a bad connotation that we’re just out here to put people in jail or to hurt people but it’s the complete opposite. We’re here to make sure that everyone’s safe and get people the help that they may or may not know they need.”
“‘Sheriff Tom Spangler and Chief Deputy Bernie Lyon are so grateful for Deputy Martin’s swift actions that undoubtedly saved the woman’s life, the sheriff’s office wrote.
Rural Metro said the home suffered considerable damage. No other injuries were reported.
EDITORS NOTE: This story has been updated with additional information.