NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – What is a hero?

Is it a deputy who saves a choking child? Is it a cop who rushes to a burning wreck? Is it a law officer who brings someone back to life?

The answer to all of these questions is yes.

“I feel like every day that I put this gun and badge on I’m doing something good,” says Lt. Shannon Heflin of the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office.

Every day in Middle Tennessee, a man or woman who wears a badge steps up when others back down.

“We go towards it while everyone else is going away from it,” says Chief Don Bandy, of Gallatin Police. “We are not anyone special. It’s a calling. You raise your hand to take that oath.”

Williamson County Sheriff, Dusty Rhoades, says the job puts you in a position to save a life, “We make a difference every day in somebody’s life. Good, bad, or indifferent. I like to think we do more good.”

“Nobody is here to get rich, for the fun of wearing a gun, it’s a service,” says Lt. Ken Miller, of the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office. “It’s what we do. We want to make a difference.”

Gallatin Police Chief, Don Bandy, was in the right place at the right time to help resuscitate a drowning child. “You talk about an adrenaline rush. She had already sunk to the bottom. But you put on a badge every day, and you can save a life, and there’s a kid alive today.”

On December 29th, 2019, Williamson County K9 officer, Elijah Kelley, threw caution to the wind when he secured himself with a dog leash to enter the fast-moving water to rescue a 69-year-old woman who was about to drown in her own car.

The woman survived thanks to Kelley; an officer willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. “It’s the greatest thing I can imagine. It’s what I signed up to do.”

In a special News 2 series, officers open up about the perils of their job and how they cope with danger on a daily basis.

You can check out more from Behind the Badge here.