Kimee Armour of Auburn has answered calls before. She will do it one more time in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Armour, a retired critical care nurse and U.S Navy veteran, begins an eight-day contract Sunday as a nurse. She signed up through Illinois Helps, an online volunteer management system that tracks health care workers who are available to respond to public health emergencies.
Gov. JB Pritzker has several times urged former doctors and nurses and other health care workers to "rejoin the fight."
Armour wrapped up teaching her final nursing class at MacMurray College on Friday.
"I needed to be helping somewhere," Armour said. "This is a war against something that we can’t see."
Armour originally had put in a request to go to Ft. Knox, Kentucky, but that is an Army facility. Armour said she had "no qualms" about taking an assignment out of state.
Armour registered with Illinois Helps on the first day the site went live, but the system crashed and she had to re-register.
"It was hurry up and wait," said Armour, about getting her eventual assignment.
Armour will work "12 hours on and 12 hours off" at her present assignment. She could be re-upped at that facility or be assigned to a different site.
Armour retired as a critical care nurse at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in 2012 after having worked at Memorial Medical Center. Last fall, she taught critical care nursing at Illinois State University.
Armour, an endurance athlete, has two children, A.J., 17, and Karlie, 14, at home, along with her husband, Dave, and her mother, Sandy Klyber. Her oldest son, Kris Goodwin, 27, was recently activated by the Army National Guard.
"If I didn’t have a supportive family, I couldn’t do this," she said.
Armour joked she was so bored at home that she dusted off her sewing machine after nearly 20 years and started making face masks.
That’s before another call beckoned.
"I love teaching, I love being a nurse and I love helping people," Armour said.
Contact Steven Spearie: 788-1524, email@example.com, twitter.com/stevenspearie.