One Mid-Missouri police officer is on the ground in Moore following Monday’s deadly tornado.
ABC 17’s Evan Millward is in the devastated city and found widespread destruction after the EF-5 tornado touched down, but also numerous agencies aiding in the recovery effort.
Joining the recovery efforts are hundreds of first responders and search and rescue teams, not to mention the residents cleaning up.
Thanks to some Missouri men, including a Jefferson City police officer, those helpers will be getting hot meals.
“A tornado like this, you never know when it’s going to happen but when it does, you just cross your fingers and pray it works,” said Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police president Ron Bartmeir.
When crossing fingers only goes so far, Bartmeir knows it’s alright to call for help.
“When they called, there was no hesitation,” said Jefferson City Police Department Capt. Bob Clark. “We all talked to our wives and our bosses and said, ‘Hey, we need to go down there and help these guys, they came up and helped us.'”
In a way, the trip is a debt of gratitude for Clark and the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police crew.
“When we got deployed, JCPD and all agencies around the state of Missouri went down to Joplin,” said Clark. “And when we got to Joplin, what we noticed was there really wasn’t anyone taking care of first responders and not be any meanness or anything like that.”
“But there’s so many first responders and they’re getting cold lunch, bologna sandwiches and whatnot and the Oklahoma guys who have had this disaster trailer, they’re cooking hot food, biscuits and gravy, eggs, and you basically just set up a 24-hour kitchen just to start feeding people because the men and women that are out there working hard, they need the nourishment to do the job,” Clark explained.
It wasn’t long after Joplin’s own devastation on May 22, 2011 that the Missouri FOP bought its own trailer.
“It was such a good idea and it was so useful in Joplin,” said Clark. “We felt like we needed to have one in the state of Missouri to help out.”
And helping out they are, at a time in Moore when fingers are crossed and prayers need a little extra push.
Capt. Clark says the Missouri FOP is prepared to bring in reinforcements to Moore for a week or longer, but their Oklahoma counterparts say they have been overwhelmed by donations and they may only need the extra for just a few days.