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Covington resident awarded by Red Cross
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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 service 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 responded 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.