OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The intensity of the F2 tornado that hit Norman on Feb. 26 was unforgettable for the Tabler family.
“Debris flying everywhere in the air. And I raced back to start trying to get my children out of their bedrooms where the windows were exploding,” said Frances Tabler.
Paramedic Megan Tompkins and her partner, Dustin McCoy, arrived at the home of Frances Tabler.
“We pulled up on this house that is in complete shambles, complete disarray. When I walked in, I was still able to feel a pretty good breeze. And that’s when I looked up and I could see that the roof was completely gone,” said Tompkins. “I got to the front door, I was able to force it open. I could see the family in front of me supposedly unscathed, from what I could tell, very obviously shaken up. But they were walking, talking and able to follow my directions to kind of help get them outside.”
While walking through the debris from the tornado, Tompkins recognized the hissing of natural gas coming from a ruptured gas meter.
“You can smell it. You can hear it. But at the time, I was more worried about this, the well-being of the people inside,” said Tompkins.
Tompkins quickly got the Tabler family out of harms way and was the voice of calm and comfort in the aftermath.
“They never wavered. They never panicked when we were in a state of panic and traumatic. So, they are truly heroes,” Frances Tabler said.
Quail Creek Bank and KFOR recognized Tompkins for helping the Tablers on that fateful day.
“Part of being an EMT and a paramedic, as basically you are trained to make decisions and in a very short amount of time and very critical decisions. And so I have no doubt that they weighed the odds of going in versus not going in. And ultimately, they made the right choice to go in and help these folks,” said Kyle Hurley, director of Norman Regional EMSSTAT.
Frances Tabler and her children wanted Tompkins to know how much they appreciate her.
“We want to present you with these beautiful roses because roses are for love. And we will always love you and thank you so much for being there,” she said.
Proud to Serve is sponsored by Quail Creek Bank.