Cov­ing­ton res­i­dent awarded by Red Cross

The Covington News - - Local news - By A.J. Archer ajarcher@cov­

The In­ter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross has hon­ored Mark Bur­ton, a life­time Cov­ing­ton res­i­dent, with a Florence Nightin­gale medal.

Bur­ton is one of the four re­cip­i­ents of the 2011 United States award, and only 39 other peo­ple in the world re­ceived an award this year. Only 1,379 awards have been given since 1912.

Bur­ton will travel to Wash­ing­ton, D. C., to re­ceive his medal on Oct. 26. The Red Cross Na­tional Head­quar­ters will pay his travel ex­penses.

Ac­cord­ing to Amy Hess, nurse prac­ti­tioner and Red Cross Disas­ter Ser­vices vol­un­teer who nom­i­nated Bur­ton, he has been a “’silent giver’ for many years and seeks lit­tle recog­ni­tion.”

“ I feel that this re­ward is well over­due in light of his many years of ser- vice to the Red Cross on a vol­un­teer ba­sis and his per­sonal de­vo­tion to the or­ga­ni­za­tion and to disas­ter ser­vices in gen­eral for the United States,” she wrote in her nom­i­na­tion letter.

Bur­ton be­gan his work as an EMT in 1974, and even­tu­ally worked his way to be­ing a reg­is­tered nurse in 1987.

Bur­ton worked on the res­cue squad in New­ton County un­til his em­ploy­ment with Grady Hos­pi­tal in the emer­gency depart­ment. Fol­low­ing his en­trance into the med­i­cal field, he joined the Red Cross.

Dur­ing his time with the As­so­ci­a­tion he re- sponded to 33 dis­as­ters, 18 of which were level five dis­as­ters.

Bur­ton was po­si­tioned at the Pen­tagon fol­low­ing the Sept. 11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks of 2001.

He later served on the Red Cross’ lo­cal Disas­ter Ac­tion Team where he re­sponded to calls in New­ton County.

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