Mock rural disaster tests emergency response skills - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Mock rural disaster tests emergency response skills

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Town of Shelby, Wis. (WXOW) - -

Medical students and area first responders tested their skills today experiencing five different agricultural mock disasters.

Students from Gundersen Health System helped set the scenes, organizing a tractor rollover, chemical exposure and poisoning, hay bale crush injury, pond drowning, and a partial limb amputation caused by a wood chipper.

Several area agencies took part in the simulations, teaming up with the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM) to introduce students to emergency situations outside of their normal setting.

WARM Director Kimberly Lansing says the coordination benefits all parties present, helping one another learn all the roles necessary to save a life.

"This is a great opportunity for our community first responders to interact with our medical students, and for different groups to see how the communication works to help make rescues effective," explained Lansing.

WARM students say the biggest benefit for their education is learning what happens to the patients in the field before they're brought into the hospital.

"It's really valuable being out here with all the different teams and people who have different roles. Normally when we're in med school and we're at the hospital, patients come to us all ready and it's really good to see how they get to us," said WARM student Brooke Resch. "There's no real practice for the real thing, but they're making it as close as they can, and it's a lot better than reading out of a book or sitting in the library. I think it's a really good experience."

This is the sixth year the rural mock disaster training has been held in the La Crosse area.

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