I know a lot of people are interested in the tornado and the damage it caused in the May 20th tornado in Moore, Ok. I responded right after the tornado had passed and helped with search and rescue. I can't answer every question due to possible hipaa violations. I will try my best to answer as many questions as possible.

Here is proof:http://i.imgur.com/voijrgm.jpg

Also here are some more pics that I was able to take. I couldn't post some of them due to circumstances and wasnt able to take pictures of course until everything had kind of calmed down.


Here is also a good page with some links to help with donations and funding if you would like. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/20/help-tornado-victims/2344493/

Comments: 49 • Responses: 14  • Date: 

elretardo9651 karma

Thank you.

Trickyknowsbest21 karma

You're welcome. It didn't really take being a firefighter to go out there and help. A lot of citizens were in the mix of it all trying to figure out the best way to help people. Hopefully anyone of us would have done the same.

speedracercjr9 karma

First thank you for responding to the call and helping those in need.
Is there any kind of general plan for going through the rubble and is there a chain of command, or is it every man for himself and dig through whatever you can? Also I know in times like these the rescuers will work themselves to the bone, is there a mandatory rest period you must take?

Trickyknowsbest8 karma

Yes, you would be surprised how much more organized things are than they look. We respond and are under a ICS " Incident Command System" where it combines different agencies and response organizations under 1 system. The more organized you are the more efficient you are. ALso yes we had tag in systems with our safety officers that required you to take a break after so long.

Alberto-Balsalm6 karma

Have you ever experienced anything like this before? And what was your first reaction?

Also, hope your family is safe and you find some good from all of this!

Trickyknowsbest5 karma

Thank you, we luckily live north of where it all happened. I haven't ever really experienced something like this, where so many people were affected. I've dealt with many house fires and vehicle accidents where people were injured or killed but not to this magnitude.

greenhearted6 karma

What has been your most heartwarming experience (we see these reunion stories and last-minute-find- stories all over the news- have you experiences one? I realize those are news stories framed to appeal to readers, but just curious) What has been the saddest moment for you?

Trickyknowsbest7 karma

Pulling up and seeing everyone walking around crying or standing there in shock is a picture that will be burned into my mind. These people just had their home and all their belongings demolished. A lot of them not knowing where family members or pets were. It was just chaos at first.

shamy335 karma

Do you feel that you guys were prepared for it? Anything that could have been done prior to help prevent damage.

I was in New York during hurricane sandy. Wasnt fun.

Trickyknowsbest12 karma

The difference in dealing with tornadoes and hurricanes is that with hurricanes you can know days to weeks in advance of its path and its strength. You have time to prepare or the evacuate the region with a hurricane. With tornadoes they can only tell you that there will be tornado type conditions and unsure of really if or where a tornado will appear. Once a tornado does touch down they can give towns in its path only minutes of warning to get under ground or in the safest room in your house. I believe that the first responders responded as quick as they could. They were there within minutes and civilians were helping out everywhere. It looked as if a bomb had went off. I don't know if you can ever fully prepare for something of this magnitude, all you can do is train for it and hope that you can keep your whits about you during it all.

scoutycat4 karma

My husband is a volunteer ff, but we don't really get tornadoes here in Ottawa, Canada. Cheers to you and your family for the work you do!

In the area affected by the tornado(es), are they mostly volunteer or pro stations? Are there any special preparations that are made for tornado warnings, like more staff on duty, or do you just manage it as it happens? Other than structural damage & debris, are there other major problems that typically happen with tornadoes that the news doesn't really cover (like, idk, flooding or something)?

Trickyknowsbest2 karma

OKC has a lot of smaller suburb cities around it that have paid departments but most of the departments in oklahoma are volunteer. The only real difference between the 2 is the training made available between career and volunteer. In times like this, man power is the most important thing. Training is great to have but numbers are even better. Most responders that respond to these events are special task force or guys that are off duty personnel just wanting to help in any way that they can. Flooding isnt really too much of a problem with tornadoes but power outages and accessible roads are some of the main problems we faced.

TeddyJackEddy2 karma

Do you know of any mental health services for first responders or others who were affected? I would expect many people could use the chance to talk things out with someone, given the scale of the trauma people are facing.

Trickyknowsbest2 karma

Yes, they always provide services to responders at major incidents. I know a lot of responders use them. I've always found talking to co workers or people I know easier than professional therapist.

bpwwhirl2 karma

...Is that a car on top of a building??

Trickyknowsbest5 karma

Yes that car was actually picked up and thrown on top of a 3 story building we were searching through.

Dgauthier172 karma

Thanks! How long did your shift last? Where you working around the clock once the tornado hit?

Trickyknowsbest5 karma

My shift lasted a little over 8 hours. Luckily there were so many departments that responded that we were able to work shorter shifts.

neilisgreen2 karma

First of all, thank you for doing this :)

Do you think there any steps that could be taken to prevent this much damage from happening in a future situation?

Trickyknowsbest4 karma

I do not believe there is much you can do to prevent this kind of damage from a tornado of that magnitude. They do make tornado safe houses, but I could not see everyone wanting to live in that style house.

redbingo2 karma

How long have you been a firefighter? Was this anything like you expected a tornado to be?

Trickyknowsbest8 karma

I have been a firefighter for almost 7 years now. Its not long enough to be a "salty vet" but its long enough to have experienced quite enough. Unfortunately living in Oklahoma you deal with tornadoes more then you would like to. Usually not to this magnitude though. I have never seen this kind of damage produced from a storm.

Cheese11112 karma

Thank you for doing this, also, if you don't mind answering this, what was the worst condition you found someone in?

Trickyknowsbest6 karma

Luckily I didn't have to pull anyone out from the damage. Most people were walking around with minor wounds or trying to find their things right after it happened. I was more in a business area and most rescues happened around the school districts and neighborhoods.

DoGzRuLe991 karma

How do you feel about the media (big companies, such as CNN or MSNBC, not local news) being there, walking around in ruins reporting while you are working to try to save people? Because honestly I do not believe they have the right to be there trying to be emotional. I think only the local news have the right to be there. Also thank you, firefighters are the best!

Trickyknowsbest7 karma

It's hard to say, we all know that most news companies are just doing their job and looking for a story. Local stations have more ties to the community and to the people in the area. It is also good to get national recognition and help though when events like this are shown on bigger networks.

liberties1 karma

Thank you.

What do you wish that survivors would do that they don't do?

I imagine that survivors are mostly in shock but for those who are not what should they do?

Trickyknowsbest2 karma

Most important thing to try and do is to stay calm and collective. I know that it is most likely impossible to do when in a situation like this but you have to know that the more that people that can listen to directions and orders, the easier it is to control situations. Instead of running around look frantically for someone try and listen to where the marked meet up command post are.