Return to Joplin
Photos Associated Press/A.J. Heightman
NCAD EMS Director Rusty Tinney and the first ambulance that arrived at E. 20th St. & Range Line Road encountered more than a dozen dead bodies and people searching for relatives and friends who had been sucked out of the walk-in freezer at a fast food restaurant. Only four of the 12 people who tried to take refuge in the freezer survived.
St. John's Mercy Hospital
St. John’s Mercy Hospital, its emergency department and medical helicopter took a direct hit.
Digging in the Wreckage
EMS crews were confronted by dead bodies and patients who ranged from having minor injuries to pieces of rebar sticking out of their skulls.
Remains of Joplin High School
The remains of Joplin High School, where hundreds of lives would have been lost had the school been used for its graduation ceremony. The school’s sign was modified and became a lasting symbol of hope for the community.
Search & Rescue
Members of Missouri Task Force One search-and-rescue team stand by as heavy equipment moves debris from a tornado-damaged Home Depot store.
This aerial view shows some of the damage done by the tornado that struck the area.
METS & NCAD crews established patient collection and treatment areas near the tornado’s path of destruction—a path that traversed both ambulance service areas.
Pizza Hut Remains
A.J. Heightman (left) & NCAD Director Rusty Tinney stand at the Pizza Hut one year after the incident. Many of the restaurants and stores have already been rebuilt, but the horrible sights seen by the EMS crews will always remain in their memories.
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EMS Airway Clinic