Nightly News   |  May 21, 2013

Volunteer: ‘It felt good to help’

NBC’s Brian Williams interviews Matt Spalding, who helped pull survivors out of the rubble alongside his brother and father.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> welcome back to moore, oklahoma, and our continuing coverage. i met a man from this area today who was on the interstate, was aware of the storm, was listening to its approach, the coverage on the radio, and because of where he was, he looked over and the area that made the most sense to him to shelter was the large imax theater . you may have seen it as one of the new landmarks of the damage here. the imax theater is still standing , but it got pretty well buffeted. he rode out the storm in there with some others, came out and, with his father and brother, helped to save 18 live tas at the nearbuy medical center .

>> i knew there was a hospital over here and medical offices here and hear somebody from the next clinic over, hey, if you're looking to help somebody, there's 18 people missing over here. so we went over there. and sure enough, we started having to pull people out. took us about an hour and a half. the first 11 came out maybe within 20 minutes , and just a crack in the roof. right behind me the roof is only this high off the ground. but just amazing that they found a little pocket to get in, didn't totally collapse. and pulled those out.

>> do you normally consider yourself a first responder?

>> i was trained in it. i'm a chiropractor in norman, don't do a lot of that kind of work.

>> you're trained in it now.

>> unfortunately.

>> you just let instinct take over and as soon as you saw the next human face, pulled them out.

>> of course. you know, this is -- unfortunately, this is not our first rodeo around here. and so when the need is there, we step up. not just us, but everybody around here. and there were definitely people in need yesterday and a lot of folks stepped up.

>> what do you want to tell people around the country?

>> i guess you just begin where we are. all it takes, just look around you, a lot of stuff, a lot of things to do, a lot of people hurting, a lot of people with the loss.

>> you feel lucky that you get to always walk around knowing that there were 18 human beings alive today you had a hand in that?

>> it does feel good. it felt -- you know, there was a guy about 70 years old that we picked up out of there and just hugging him. and we said, man, are you okay? where are you hurting at? and he said all over. and, you know, thinking about that last night, i couldn't hardly sleep. it felt pretty good to help those people. and i didn't -- you know, these other people that are trained more in it, they're doing a lot more work than i did. but it felt good to help those few that we did, and there will be a lot more good stories like that. just feel bad for all the little kids in the schools.

>> we'll talk, we'll cry, we'll do all those things, and we'll recoup and we'll help others do that. everybody's going to do everything they can to move forward until tomorrow and the sun will shine again in the morning.

>> extraordinary trio of ordinary oklahomans, in one family, incredible guys we met today. speaking of this is not our first rodeo, they're used to recovering quickly here. we witnessed that a few minutes ago at the imax theater . we saw them replacing the neon in the sign. they are fixing to get back up and get back in business because their structure is still standing .