The February snowstorms that brought Texarkana to almost a complete standstill were no match for a group of Red River Pharmacy drivers.
The group of men who deliver prescriptions for Red River Pharmacy Services on Moores Lane in Texarkana, Texas, are used to being on the road.Gallery: Pharmacy drivers brave snowstorms to deliver medication
Red River Pharmacy Services includes a compounding pharmacy, nuclear pharmacy and also a longterm care pharmacy. Much of the medicine is time-sensitive and essential to whoever is waiting on it.
"We have a lot of hospice prescriptions and our drivers travel all over Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas," said co-owner Tracy Boudreaux.
Her husband, co-owner David Boudreaux, said drivers for Red River Pharmacy Services accumulate a lot of miles during the average day.
"System-wide we deliver to the effect of from here to Canada every day" he said.
Many of the men are 70 or older and retired from previous careers. They work between 20 and 30 hours a week, delivering medicine.
"They show up really early and drink coffee and visit with each other," Tracy Boudreaux said.
The drivers are Jerry Hockaday, James Beasley, Harold Cooney, James Browning, Douglas Kaminski, Corey Icenhower, James Reed, Richard Murchison, Bobby Hastings, Jody Adick, William Vahle, Tony McLean, Richard Bolton and Ricky Cobb.
Even on the mornings Texarkana received several inches of snow, the drivers showed up and began digging out the company cars from the parking lot.
"It was 5 a.m. and snowing and they were here digging out cars. They just showed up," she said.
The week of the snow, the drivers still managed to drive about 4,000 miles. Most weeks they drive about 8,000 miles.
"They drove their own vehicles to south Shreveport to pick up drugs from our Wholesaler when the wholesaler could not get to us," Tracy Boudreaux said.
The drivers drove to hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and patients' homes all over the area. A couple of drivers drove as far as Little Rock.
"They picked up other employees to bring to work, they shoveled snow. And they did this all with smiles on their faces," Tracy Boudreaux said.
Driver Bill Vahle said these guys are just extremely committed to what they do.
"What drives the train is commitment. It's not just a job for pretty days," he said.
Though he added that the snowy weather makes the men appreciate driving on a pretty day even more.
None of the drivers had accidents in the bad weather.
"We had a lot of protective angels," Vahle said.
Coy Icenhower has driven for Red River Pharmacy for 10 years. He just turned 87 at the beginning of March.
"When I first came to work here, I though they might think I was too old. But by the time I got home from the interview, I had a call offering me the job," he said.
He works between 20 and 30 hours a week.
"I don't want a job interfering with my fishing," he laughed.
Icenhower agrees that commitment to the task kept the guys going, even in the treacherous conditions.
"We had people that needed stuff. They were not going to quit getting sick. We had to get it there," he said.