Rutherford County Sheriff’s Deputy Shane Vaughn and School Resource Officer Michael Martin received the 2013 Jerry Anderson Hero Award Saturday from the Murfreesboro NAACP branch.
Deputy Vaughn earned the award for rescuing a woman from her burning car Nov. 19 near Rockvale. SRO Martin earned the award for unarming a 17-year-old threatening people with a handgun last January outside La Vergne High School.
The award was presented during the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast at MTSU in memory of Jerry Anderson of Murfreesboro , who drowned while saving two boys trapped in Stones River May 27, 1989. Anderson played football for Central High School ’s football team, the University of Oklahoma and the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Cincinnati Bengals.
NAACP member Mary Wade, who presented the awards, said Anderson “gave his life to save two other young men.” Both Deputy Vaughn and SRO Martin “were willing to lay down their lives so we may be safe in this community.”
Deputy Vaughn said he realized the woman was on fire and removed her from the car. She was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment until being released this week. Several hundred people at the breakfast applauded.
In nominating Vaughn, Sgt. Joe Duncan said Deputy Vaughn’s actions saved the woman’s life.
“Deputy Vaughn placed himself in harms way by running to the victim’s aid very close to the burning vehicle, dragging her away from the burning vehicle and rendering aid to her until paramedics arrived,” Sgt. Duncan reported.
The deputy doesn’t call himself a hero.
“It was God’s going by giving me the call and putting me there at just the right time,” Deputy Vaughn said “The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office has been a blessing to me and also working for such a great person as Sheriff (Robert) Arnold.”
Ironically, Deputy Vaughn’s father, Butch, coached Anderson at Central High School in 1970 when the team won the state championship. Butch Vaughn said Anderson was the greatest football player he ever saw and coached.
“So to receive this award named after him is such a great honor,” Deputy Vaughn said.
SRO Martin responded Jan. 6 to the juvenile threatening people while caught up in school traffic on a street in front of La Vergne High School. Martin repeatedly ordered the juvenile to get out of the vehicle. A pistol was found on the suspect and he was arrested.
Sheriff Arnold said SROs are important to the safety of school students.
“SRO Martin protected the students from harm by his quick action,” Arnold said.
Sgt. Bill West credited Martin with diffusing a dangerous situation.
“SRO Martin acted courageously and professionally in a very dangerous situation,” West said.
SRO Martin credited his parents, the late Robert E. and Lucinda L. Martin, for instilling in him to keep God first in his life, perform a strong work ethics, and never take a moment for granted.
Photo Above: Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold , center, and supervisors, congratulate Deputy Shane Vaughn and School Resource Officer Michael Martin for receiving the Jerry Anderson Hero Award. From left are Patrol Commander Jacoby O’Gwynn, Deputy Chief Virgil Gammon, Deputy Vaughn, Sheriff Arnold, SRO Martin, SRO Capt. Barry Hendrixson and Chief Deputy Randy Garrett .