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January 17, 2018

A Note from Lieutenant Mark Phillips

At The Arc of the Ozarks, the individuals we serve are family. Our staff work tirelessly to ensure they receive the best quality of life possible. Unfortunately, there are times when our staff face the loss of a beloved client. Our mission at The Arc of the Ozarks is to serve individuals with disabilities in directing their own lives as valued members of the community. Please read the letter below from Mark Phillips, a Lieutenant with Springfield Fire Department and his recent interaction with our staff during a very difficult day. We say often within our organization that we have the best employees. Thank you to Lieutenant Phillips and his crew for the highest possible compliment of our staff. The Arc has served this client for 23 years, since 1994.

My name is Mark Phillips and I’m a lieutenant with the Springfield Fire Department. On 01-12-2018 my crew (Engine 2) was dispatched to an Arc residence where a resident had stopped breathing due to terminal illnesses. Upon entering the home we contacted the supervisor, Sasha Pence, who fully explained the situation and provided a valid DNR to us. Ms. Pence was very well organized and professional, supplying us with all necessary paperwork. We proceeded to the bedroom and checked the patient to confirm she had passed and I immediately noticed the ladies in the room that surrounded her bed. All of them were in tears and were holding her. My first inclination was that these were family members and they were there to say goodbye, however, Sasha later told me these were Arc staff members that had been with her most of the week, by her bed. Sasha also made sure to state that they were not just staff, BUT they were her family as well. The love and care in this room was thick and I was touched. Sad to say, few things phase me anymore in this business but this most definitely did. I know that if the lady that had passed was one of my family members, I would have been proud to have your staff take care of her. Even though there was extreme sadness present, the scene was somehow beautiful and uplifting. Please let your staff know that we, as a crew, were moved by this unfortunate but extremely heartening event.

Thank you to you and your staff,

Mark Phillips

Lieutenant – Engine 2B