ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Nearly 300 people participated in a mock mass casualty crash and zombie apocalypse simulation Sunday at Gamehaven Scout Reservation in Rochester for the 8th annual ‘Bounce Day.’
Volunteer actors pretending to be infected by a zombie-inducing disease roamed the park. Nursing students, medical students, emergency responders, military members, and health care professionals practiced treating patients in an emergency shelter and makeshift triage center.
“You’re thrown into an environment that is a little chaotic,” said Sam Rouleau, a second-year medical student. “Being in that situation and feeling that shock the first time in a simulation, I think is going to be crucial to helping me be more calm when I’m in a situation that isn’t a simulation.”
Dr. Robin Molella, the Bounce Day medical director, calls the simulation a “capstone event.” Previously, they’ve held simulations for an active shooter, tuberculosis, and a refugee camp.
“This year we spent more time identifying spaces and clarifying that, because we know that’s exactly what would happen in a real disaster so, for example, we have signs out in the field that tell people where to go,” said Dr. Molella.
The event is a collaboration between Mayo Clinic, Olmsted County Zumbro Valley Medical Society, Rochester disaster preparedness experts, local businesses, and service organizations.
“We want people to have a resilience mindset, and what that means is that they recognize that a disaster could happen in their neighborhood, and they have skills that they can use to help and count on others in the community to come to their aid in the event of a disaster,” said Dr. Molella. “Former medical student who have graduated and participated in the simulation in previous years are calmer and better prepared when they face real-life disaster events.”