MOORE, Okla — He patrols the city at night in his emergency room on wheels. Tim Ward moved here recently from Ohio to become an EMSA paramedic.
Before too long, those life-saving skills would be challenged as Ward was confronted with a natural disaster beyond comprehension.
The Medic recalled, “I woke up to the sound of sirens going off.”
He was asleep the afternoon of May 20th, resting for his graveyard shift. The Moore resident ignored those tornado sirens until his wife, Anna came in with a look of terror on her face.
Ward ordered his family to go south. Tim stayed to grab a uniform and first aid kit.
“I could see a black wall coming toward me. I was like, Oh my God!”, Ward said.
The EMSA paramedic jumped in his Honda Accord with the EF5 gaining ground in his rear view mirror.
Ward said, “The house across the street just disappeared right in front of me. I stepped on the gas and shot down the street. How I made it out I’m not even sure. The car was all over the place. The back window blew out. Suddenly things were flying at me. Something came across the hood. I don’t know what it was.”
Tim managed to outrun that tornado, then watched it obliterate his Moore neighborhood from a Chic-Fil-A parking lot a mile away.
“I could just see this thing going through just tearing everything apart.”, Ward remembered.
When the wind calmed, Tim Ward knew what needed to be done. He put on that EMSA uniform, and raced back into the Plaza Towers neighborhood he called home.
EMSA General Manager, Jim Winham said, “It’s like Superman and the cape. He’s coming out to help. He doesn’t think he’s a hero. He does this day to day and he does a good job at it. He helped more people that we’ll ever know.”
The very first, first reponder in the tornado ravaged neighborhood, Ward scoured his community for victims. He helped dig out survivors, comforted strangers and treated the walking wounded.
Ward said, “People just started coming. ‘I’m cut; I’m hurt here.’”
And when he ran out of medical supplies, Tim returned to what was left of his home to rummage for even more tape and bandages.
For nine consecutive hours, Tim Ward would put aside his personal anguish to care for others. He was a hero by most accounts.
But Ward deflected the label, “Absolutely not. I happened to be at the right place at the right time. I was able to help some people. That was it. There are people fighting wars who are heroes. Not me.”
Tim posessed the talent needed, but more importantly, the courage to follow it to the grim place it lead him on that unforgettable afternoon in May.