McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

May 22, 2013

McAlester Salvation Army responds to needs after tornadoes strike

McALESTER — Counseling the first responders and feeding the hungry.

That’s what the McAlester Salvation Army has been doing since a monster tornado struck Moore, said Salvation Army Sergeant Rob Daniels of the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army was among the first units at the scene when at Plaza Tower Elementary in Moore after a huge tornado left a trail death and destruction.

On Monday he said his group fed more than a 1,000 people hot dogs, hamburgers  and drinks.

But the groups main duty is to provide counseling to the first responders.

 “We provide emotional and spiritual care,” he said.

“It’s  a hard thing to take the body of 7-year-old out of the rubble.”

He said when the effort turned from a rescue to recovery the whole mood changed.

He recalled when of the most striking moments occurred about  Monday night while rescuers were frantically digging through the rubble at Plaza Tower Elementary to find survivors and were told it was now a recovery effort.

“That’s when we knew there would be no more rescues. I saw the shoulders of these men just slump, the mood drastically changed.” he said. “They kept working but it was not the same.”

He said the first responders are very dedicated and the “keep working to their own detriment.”

 “We help them debrief and make sure they eat and drink and rest.”

Daniels said his team of five men and women were deployed to Shawnee at 6 a.m. on Monday morning when a tornado struck in New Castle.

Then at 3 p.m. when the tornado struck in Moore he said his team was deployed to Plaza Tower Elementary where on Wednesday nine children were reported dead.

Daniels said he’s been counseling first responders since 1992 and he’s been to disaster scenes such plane crashes and hurricanes, but this one was one of the worst.

“I’ve seen a lot of bad scenes but this one ... it’s terrible,” Daniels said.

He said his team will be deployed to Moore until Monday and he said those wanting to help the Salvation Army can visit www.salvationarmy.com.

“What we really need is monetary donations,” Daniels said.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore @mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
NDN Video
BASE Jumpers Set World Record Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.