Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Update from Moore, Oklahoma

Moore, OK (May 21, 2013) -- Firefighters here in Moore are at a premium, so many of the rescue teams are made up of law enforcement, citizen volunteers and off duty medics from the other side of the state. FEMA has a term that it uses to describe volunteers and self responders -- SCUVs. aka Spontaneous Convergent Unaffiliated Volunteers. In rescue circles SCUV is a dirty name but here in Moore the acronym SCUV has been replaced by the term HERO.

Over 100 rescues were made during the night -- many more made this morning. The fire department here in Moore, OK is not very large, but every member is on the scene. There is no off-duty today for them or a thousand other firefighters and rescue personnel who have arrived from Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. A pair of firefighters wearing FDNY leather made their way to this "pile" in a gesture of repayment for OK's response to the events of 9/11/01.

Law enforcement officers from as far away as Tulsa and Texas are here as well, serving in twin roles today. Their usual job of keeping the peace -- and that of victim rescuer. Many of the first responders lost their own homes, and one I spoke to has a severely injured child who is being treated in Oklahoma City. But they are here doing what they have been trained to do.