The evening of October 4, 2006 started like any other for Burlington telecommunicator Robert “Dink” Vaughan, but in the course of his shift a young boy’s life would be changed forever by the brave actions of this everyday hero.
On this particular evening, an eight year-old boy was alone at home when a fire broke out. As smoke filled his room, the boy called 9-1-1 and was connected to Vaughan. Calm and composed, Vaughan guided the boy through a series of life saving procedures that protected the child until firefighters could arrive on the scene. The recordings of this call were played Tuesday, October 2, to a packed audience at the Burlington City Council Meeting.
In light of this heroic act, Vaughan was presented with the North Carolina National Emergency Number Association (NC NENA) Annie McIntyre Award for 2007. Each year NC NENA selects a member of its organization that reflects Ms. McIntyre’s enthusiasm for promoting NENA’s mission of protecting human life, preserving property, and maintaining community security.
Vaughan received a standing ovation by all in attendance while accepting his award. City Council members expressed their gratitude to the telecommunicator for his determination and presence of mind in a difficult situation, as well as his continued dedication to the citizens of Burlington.
Vaughan wished to acknowledge the assistance of his partner, who also helped with the call. Having worked in several communication offices, Vaughan proudly proclaimed, “Burlington is the place to be.”
Fellow McIntyre recipient Kenyon Harris nominated Vaughan for the award. In his nomination Harris pointed out, “It is not the spectacular call or incident that distinguishes Dink for this honor, it is his every day dedication to the job.”