Medical students, first responders practice reacting to disaster in rural areas

Medical students, first responders practice reacting to disaster in rural areas

SHELBY, Wis. (WBKT) - A training drill was held at a farm out in Shelby on Saturday. Around 30 medical students from the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine worked with Gundersen employees and area first responders to react to disaster scenarios.

Stoddard, Shelby, Westby and Campbell fire departments all participated in the drill, as well as La Crosse Emergency Management and Gundersen Health System Staff.

Dr. Kimberly Lansing, a family medical specialist with Gundersen Health System and the owner of the farm the event was held on, said it's important for rural first responders to be ready for anything.

"My real hope is that the students appreciate what it takes for our first responders to get somebody from a muddy field or a dangerous scene into the hospital where they can be cared for. I think a lot of times we're waiting for victims to arrive and wondering what's taking so long, and this really helps us to understand what they have to do to bring somebody to us," said Lansing.

One of the medical students at the event, Marissa Paulson, wrote one of the scenarios where a child almost drowned, but she said going through it still gave her a new perspective.

"It's one thing to read about a child that might have drowned, but to walk upon the scene, even though we know it's just pretend, it gives you a different feeling. You have to think in a different way," said Paulson.

Lansing said four students from the University of Indiana were at the event because the school wants to do similar training.

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