Hopkins named citizen of year

Friday, July 2, 2010
Bob Hopkins, director of the Marshall County Emergency management Agency, and now Citizen of the Year, stands with his wife, Carol, after the Chamber of Commerce breakfast Thursday.

A man who has spent most of his life helping other people in the community was named Citizen of the Year at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast Thursday.

Robert P. Hopkins III, known to everyone as Bob, has been with the Emergency Management Agency for 46 years, and head of it for about 30.

"He's there for everyone on a 24/7 basis," said Jimmy Davis Jr., quoting from the nomination written by Linda Haislip. "Any emergency - he'll be there."

Haislip did not know when she wrote the nomination that she, and others who work in the Courthouse Annex, would be especially grateful to Hopkins this week. The Annex's air conditioning is out of order, and the EMA provided about 15 box fans to help keep the offices cool enough to work in.

Hopkins has not only fought fires, led searches, and contained toxic spills, he has also trained countless others to do the same.

"The people of the County deserve recognition for their volunteerism," said Hopkins in his short acceptance speech. He pointed out that currently in America there are "volunteer professionals," like volunteer firemen who undergo the same training as full-time paid firemen. Prior to that, volunteers might simply be people doing their best with on-the-job training.

Hopkins also praised "the ladies who stand behind them." He and his wife, Carol, will be celebrating their 48th anniversary this month.

Hopkins spent four and a half years in the Air Force. He is a member of the First Baptist Church, a Mason, and a Shriner.

"I can't think of a better recipient," said Chamber president Melody Spence as she wound up the annual breakfast that is, for many, the start of Fourth of July festivities.