Sheriff's SRO, two deputies earn Jerry Anderson Hero Award from NAACP

Jan 26, 2020 at 10:00 am by Lisa Marchesoni

Jerry Anderson Hero Award

Three Rutherford County Sheriff's deputies received the Jerry Anderson Hero Award Saturday from the Murfreesboro Branch of the NAACP.

School Resource Officer Shane Vaughn earned the award for saving a La Vergne High School teacher at school and K-9 Deputy Sarah Blair and Deputy James Elliott received the award for saving the life of a man at his home.

Anderson played football for Central High School, the University of Oklahoma and professional football with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He drowned after saving the lives of two young boys May 27, 1989 in the Stones River off Warrior Drive in Murfreesboro.

Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said he was “very proud that Shane, Sarah and James are being recognized for their outstanding efforts in saving the life of these two individuals. They have set an example for all of us to follow.” 

SRO Vaughn was called to the La Vergne High School cafeteria when teacher Garry Gannon suffered a medical emergency. Vaughn told Nurse Rachel Bullard they needed to start cardiopulmonary resuscitation.           

Bullard began CPR while Vaughn attached the automatic external defibrillator.

The teacher began to breathe and move around. They treated him until paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital where he recovered.

Gannon later thanked Vaughn and Bullard for saving his life.

This is the third time Vaughn saved lives. He received the NAACP Jerry Anderson Hero Award in 2013 after he saved a woman from a burning car. Vaughn also saved the life of a man who was unresponsive at his home.

Deputy Vaughn's father, Butch, coached Jerry 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.

Deputy Blair and Deputy Elliott responded to a call where a man was unresponsive and not breathing Aug. 25 on Woodbury Street. Blair moved the man from his bed to the floor.

They began CPR and used the AED to shock the man twice before getting a pulse.

Elliott accompanied Emergency Medical Services paramedics in the ambulance to help care for the patient on the way to the hospital.

The man had a pulse when he arrived at the hospital. He was taken to the cardiac area for evaluation.

Due to Deputy Blair's and Deputy Elliott's professionalism and quick response of the AED, they saved the man's life.

Photo: Sheriff's Command staff members congratulate SRO Shane Vaughn, Deputy James Elliott and K9 Deputy Sarah Blair for receiving the Jerry Anderson Hero Award. From left are Chief Deputy Keith Lowery, Deputy Chief Egon Grissom, Vaughn, Elliott and Blair, Major Steve Spence and Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh. 


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