Letter to the Editor

Volunteers make drill huge success

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

To the editor:

Cape Girardeau County took giant steps Aug. 25 by assisting the public health center staff in preparing for areawide communicable disease emergencies and potential biological terrorist attacks. This could not have been done if not for hundreds of volunteers.

Our thanks to the Victorian Inn, Cape Girardeau fire and police departments, Cape Girardeau County Emergency Operations Center, American Red Cross, State Emergency Management Agency, Cape County Private Ambulance Service, the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri, Southeast Missouri Hospital and Saint Francis Medical Center medical auxiliaries, Community Counseling Center, Missouri Division of Aging, Missouri Mentoring Partnership, Option Care, Apria Healthcare, Cpl. Mason O. Yarbrough Detachment 1018 Marine Corps League, Retired Telephone Pioneers, Cape Girardeau County Area Medical Society Auxiliary, Dr. John Rusell, Dr. Tom Critchlow and Spanish translator Abigail Aguirre. Cape Girardeau firefighters Mark Hasheider and Brad Dillow saved the day when our handheld radios didn't work.

In addition to our staff of 40, 39 staff members from other public health agencies helped. Our staff shined like a new penny on this day. The public has good reason to be proud of us and know that tax dollars are well-spent.

By now you can see the amount of manpower and cooperation it took to pull this exercise off. Cape Girardeau County has a reputation throughout the state of leadership in planning and preparing for disasters. This cooperation is rare in many communities. Here we have an overabundance of it, and we're honored to be a part of it.


JANE WERNSMAN, Assistant Director

Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, Cape Girardeau