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Volunteers help support emergency workers, too

BY ROBERT MEDLEY Published: February 15, 2009
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The parking lot was dark except for the flashing red and blue lights of emergency vehicles.

Debris — nails, sharp metal, wires — from Tuesday’s tornado was strewn across the Rockwell Plaza parking lot at Northwest Expressway and Rockwell Avenue.


As first responders worked that night, volunteers provided coffee, hot chocolate, sandwiches and chicken with potato soup.

Police officers, firefighters, utility workers and emergency medical personnel do work that is long and tiring, said Heidi Brandes, spokeswoman for the Salvation Army Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area Command.

The Salvation Army and the Red Cross have a tradition of supporting emergency workers, Brandes said.

Canteens from both the Salvation Army and Red Cross also trucked food and drink to Lone Grove, where a tornado claimed eight lives Tuesday night.

Brandes said the Salvation Army always has a need for food for mobile command units.

Kyla Campbell, American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma spokeswoman, said her agency welcomes financial contributions for disaster relief efforts.

Mobile command units are not taken for granted, said District Chief Brian Stanaland of the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

"Firefighters can get a little nourishment and refreshment and go back to work,” Stanaland said.


HOW TO HELP
→To donate to disaster relief for the Salvation Army, make checks payable to: The Salvation Army, disaster response; mail to P.O. Box 2095, Oklahoma City, OK 73101.

→To donate to disaster relief for the American Red Cross, make checks payable to: American Red Cross disaster relief funds; mail to 601 NE 6, Oklahoma City, OK 73104.

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