On Tuesday, the town of Joplin, Missouri, marked the one-year anniversary since the devastating May 22 tornado, and highlighted the heroic efforts of the town's first responders. Emergency personnel dealt with an emergency unlike any they had experienced, and they did it with one fewer hospital than they were used to, Missouri News Horizon reports.
Among the buildings affected by the powerful tornado was St. John's Regional Medical Center. Left with nowhere else to go, the emergency personnel from St. John's went to nearby Freeman Health System to begin treating the hundreds of wounded citizens. Freeman's CEO, Paula Baker, had nothing but praise for the responders that day.
"In the hours after the storm, ordinary people became heroes," she told the crowd at a memorial service, according to the news source.
The 2011 tornado killed 161 people and injured at least 900 more, making it the deadliest tornado in the United States since 1947. In recognition of the anniversary, President Barack Obama also visited the town to give the commencement address for students at Joplin High School, which was destroyed in the storm.