WHITE CITY, Ore. — A young man who was seriously injured in a fall from Table Rock several months ago paid a visit Wednesday to the firefighters involved in his rescue, Jackson County Fire District 3 said.
Jackson Vaughn was hiking in the Upper Table Rock Recreational Area on March 25 when he tumbled 25 feet from the top to the ground. FD3 said that Vaughn broke two vertebrae in his back, multiple ribs, and a number of major cuts and bruises.
It took hours for firefighters and paramedics to hoist Vaughn back up to the top of the rock safely, where a Mercy Flights helicopter crew airlifted him to the hospital.
"The fall happened just weeks before graduation, but due to his injuries, he was not anticipated to attend," the agency said. "However, against all odds, Jackson was not only able to attend graduation, but he was also strong enough to walk and receive his diploma at Crater High School."
According to FD3, Vaughn's reason for visiting on Wednesday wasn't purely to show his gratitude. Vaughn told the firefighters there that, following the fall, he determined to become a firefighters himself. He is now enrolled in the Fire Science program at Rogue Community College.
“I always thought about being a firefighter, but this experience really inspired me,” Vaughn told FD3. He said that he remembered most of the rescue, and “being surrounded by firefighters and emergency responders made me feel safe and I knew I was going to be okay.”
"Thank you for sharing your story with us Jackson, and we wish you the very best as you embark on your new adventure of becoming a firefighter here in Jackson County," FD3 said.