Gov. Jay Nixon saluted the men and women of more than 400 law enforcement and public safety organizations that responded to Joplin in the immediate aftermath of the devastating May 22 tornado.
Six agencies from Barry County were among those that Nixon recognized. They included: the Barry County Sheriff's Department; the Butterfield Fire Protection District; the Cassville Police Department; the Eagle Rock-Golden-Mano Fire Protection District; the Monett Police Department; and the Central Crossing Fire Protection District.
"Police officers, firefighters, EMTs and other professionals from more than 400 agencies and organizations responded to Joplin in the immediate aftermath of the storm," Gov. Nixon said. "When disaster struck, these men and women were there. And their work made an incredible difference."
The EF-5 tornado that hit Joplin destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, demolished schools. devastated a hospital and killed more than 150 men, women and children.
Immediately after the storm, law enforcement and public safety agencies from around the state and across the country headed to Joplin to assist with search and rescue operations, emergency medical care, transportation, crime and traffic control and other vital missions.
Gov. Nixon also deployed assets from the Missouri National Guard and the Missouri State Highway Patrol to assist with coordination of these efforts.
"Certain, special individuals take an oath to devote their lives to law enforcement and public safety," Gov. Nixon said. "These men and women put their lives on the line and choose to head toward danger, not away from it. Our law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders deserve our highest respect and admiration. And for their service in Joplin's hour of need, they also deserve our most heartfelt thanks."