A state trooper who patrols the Charleston area is being called a hero because he may have helped save a life, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The Highway Patrol announced on Monday that Lance Cpl. Mark E. McDonald got the 2013 Director's Hero Award. Sgt. Bob Beres explained on Tuesday why McDonald was chosen.

McDonald was working in his yard Sept. 16 when he noticed his neighbor across the street was locked out and trying to get inside through the back door. The neighbor accidentally shattered the glass in the door and ran into the yard yelling out in panic. McDonald went over to ask if the man was OK and saw that his right arm was severely cut and bleeding profusely.

While others called 911, McDonald applied pressure to the arm to slow the bleeding until help arrived. Emergency workers said if the trooper had not stepped in to help, his neighbor could have bled to death, Beres said.

"Lance Corporal McDonald went above and beyond the call of duty while off duty," Beres said.

McDonald is from Dorchester County and has been a state trooper for six years. He is assigned to Troop Six, which is based in North Charleston. He is a field training officer and a leader in drug enforcement in Post B in Walterboro. He made numerous arrests last year for possession of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine.

"In 2013 he demonstrated several examples of leadership, dedication and selfless service, fortifying our agency's mission of saving lives and serving the public," Beres said. "He is community-oriented and dedicated to his work."

Besides the 2013 Director's Hero Award, McDonald also was recognized as Trooper of the Year for Troop Six. The awards were presented Friday in Columbia.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.