Paramedics, Cleveland County Sheriff Use Creative Rescue During Norman Tornado

The quick-thinking emergency crews helped take two people to the hospital during Sunday's tornado outbreak. Damage kept their ambulance from getting to storm victims. The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office made the rescue possible.

Tuesday, February 28th 2023, 10:14 pm



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The quick-thinking emergency crews helped take two people to the hospital during Sunday's tornado outbreak. Damage kept their ambulance from getting to storm victims. The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office made the rescue possible.

Every storm leaves its own unique fingerprint of damage. Damage in a flash creates a maze of obstacles for paramedics like Riley Furman. 

“Unfortunately, every one of them is their own,” Furman said. “We found the power lines. They were kinda stretched across Highway 9.” 

Furman was driving to the USPS Training Center in Norman. The problem power lines were down everywhere blocking their path.

“There was possibly people completely trapped in there,” Furman said.  

The ambulance was too big to get underneath those power lines along Highway 9. So, they had the idea to use a cop car instead.  

“It’s definitely hard,” said Capt. Saysha Cornish, with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office. “We kinda made a plan.”  

Cleveland County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Overling turned his squad car into an improv ambulance. 

“My car fit underneath the power lines,” Overling said. “We were going to accomplish that goal by however means necessary.”

Crossing under those power lines, the first responders risked their own safety to get inside the building and get two people to the hospital.

“A life, we gotta put that first,” Cornish said. “It was a success.” 

The process of this rescue is one Furman said she hasn’t orchestrated before. These people suffered minor injuries, but they’re safe today.

“We risk our lives every day,” Cornish said. 

All that matters is that the rescue worked.

“Just glad that the individuals were safe,” Overling said. “That was for me, probably the best feeling.” 

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