05/15/2020 - Judge Nelson's Statement on Emergency Squad
In the late sixties or early seventies my father was a member of the Emergency Squad, back then it was commonly referred to as the CB Radio Club and most passenger cars and trucks had a citizens band radio installed. I can recall one evening after coming home from school hearing a conversation between my mother and father, where the club had been called out to search for the body of a young man who had become the victim of a drowning. My father occupied a seat in a small boat and along with others searched. He told that they had located the victim and how he hung over the side of the boat and held the body with both arms until they reached near the shoreline, wading waist-deep water with the body until reaching dry land. He felt he and the other volunteers had contributed something important that day. The family had the body for burial. When I was sixteen I also joined the Blytheville CB Emergency Squad, I still have the red shirt with the official embroidery and patches. My oldest son joined in 2004 and remains on the roster. My youngest son was the victim of an automobile accident in 2009 where the Emergency Squad responded and retrieved the body. I am grateful for the selfless work and effort of those volunteers who give their time and effort and at times place themselves in jeopardy at any hour of the day or night, expecting nothing in return.
This organization has had my support for the last forty-five years. I make a monetary contribution to their annual fundraisers, and I intend to continue to support them. We are making progress in Mississippi County, and with progress comes change. You cannot have one without the other. With the expansion and renovation of the Blytheville Courthouse, it has become necessary to relocate the Emergency Squad building.
The community values the Emergency Squad as much as I do. Private subscriptions were raised to construct the building they now occupy, many years ago. I will pledge $1,000.00 to the construction of a new building. Mississippi County acquired land next to Pafford Ambulance, where it served as a trailer park for many years. The trailers, house, and trees have been removed and can be used to be the new home for the squad. This move will provide much more room for a bigger and better facility for the volunteers to operate and allow them access to the five lanes of Division Street, which is an extension of Highway 61 and located between Highway 18 and Interstate 55, giving them quick access to the entire county.
I have spoken to Pafford about contributing to this effort. I am asking you for your support and financial contribution to this as well. The Blytheville Courthouse has relocated to the ANC campus in Burdette where the complex includes twelve overhead bay doors and adequate space to temporarily house the Emergency Squad. This campus is located adjacent to Interstate 55 with on and off-ramps immediately outside the campus gates.
This plan can make the future of the organization better than it has ever been. We will have progress in our county, which includes volunteer organizations such as this invaluable team.
John Alan Nelson, Mississippi County Judge