Poplar Bluff had the honor of hosting the first COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic in Missouri, according to state-level officials, because we work together to get the job done. I agree. We do work together to get things done. No matter if it’s a flood, a storm, fire or a pandemic, our community comes together. Everyone pitches in jointly.
On the day of the first mass vaccination clinic, state officials responsible for the event told District 153 Rep. Darrell Atchison (R-Williamsville) when Southeast Missouri citizens request something, they are likely to receive it since they make it happen. True, it is everyone working together, both for the Jan. 22 event and the second-dose clinic Feb. 12.
When traffic control became an issue Jan. 22, the Poplar Bluff Police Department, the highway patrol and MoDOT responded. When medical personnel were needed to assist the Missouri National Guard and the Butler County Health Department, Three Rivers College nursing students and their instructors volunteered to assist and worked long hours. The United Gospel Rescue Mission provided snacks and food for both events.
A special thanks to the Air National Guardsmen who left their families and regular jobs to help with the vaccination.
Hearing a comment praising the area makes one proud, but to be fair, we need to stop and think someone has to go behind the scenes to guide the agencies, not-for-profits and volunteers and help them decide how we may all work together.
One person we should be especially grateful to is Butler County Emergency Management Director Robbie Myers. He always is there. If he doesn’t know the answer, he finds it, even if it means calling Jefferson City or Washington, D.C. He knows who to call nationally, statewide and locally, to tell us “we have the skills and the ability. We need to show up and help our friends and neighbors in whatever the emergency.”
Some of you may think it is his job, and yes, you are correct, but Myers always has taken an extra step, made an extra phone call and gone above and beyond his job description. His phone stays busy, but he always answers. His parting words usually are “if you need anything else, call.” No matter the issue, Myers directs us in making it happen, which isn’t an easy task.
Why does he do it? This is his home community, we are his friends and neighbors and he cares.
Thank you, Robbie Myers, for helping us be known as a community that gets the job done.