Olive Branch police rookie honored for saving elderly man's life - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Olive Branch police rookie honored for saving elderly man's life

By Chip Washington - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC-TV) - A rookie police officer in Olive Branch was honored Monday for his bravery in the line of duty.

On August 15th, when Olive Branch patrol officer Lawrence Vaughn reported for work, he was not expecting to rescue an elderly man trapped in a fire at his home.  Vaughn quickly took charge of the situation without regard to his own safety. 

"His oxygen tank was on fire at the door when I got there, but the only thing I thought was to go and get him out," Vaughn said.

It happened at the home of 75-year-old Freddie Hawkins, on Coleman Street in Olive Branch.  Hawkins' son Ronnie had gone to the store and was surprised when he returned.

"When I got here the whole street was full of fire trucks, ambulances, and police, and I walked down here and he was sitting out in the street," Hawkins said.

Safe and unharmed, due to the quick thinking of officer Vaughn, who was honored by the Olive Branch Police Department Monday with a Metal of Valor and Lifesaving metal.

Also Monday, Vaughn and the younger Hawkins met for the first time.

Major Danny Vasser spoke highly of his young officer.

"He set his own personal safety aside to rescue one of the citizens of Olive Branch, which is highly honorable, and I'm extremely proud of him," Vasser said.

According to officials, Monday was the first time an Olive Branch has been presented with such an honor.  Vaughn will celebrate his first year with the department in December.

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