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Bounce Day disaster simulation prepares community to help

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — It’s an unsettling thought, but when a disaster strikes — it’s vitally important to be prepared. That’s exactly what hundreds of people trained for Sunday afternoon in Rochester.

About 240 local volunteers and medical professionals participated in a mock mass casualty crash and zombie apocalypse simulation. High school and medical students, emergency responders, military members, and health care professionals practiced treating patients.

Some of the high school students acted as journalists — bringing the latest information from the staged scene.

The teacher who brought her students to the training tells us that simply being ready to help is an essential lesson to learn.

“It’s the idea that we’re responsible for each other, we take care of each other, in a disaster, we have each other to depend upon,” said Century High School biomedical science teacher Cheryl Moertel. “And I’d also like them to learn a little about reporting and how important it is to have a press that keeps the public informed and keeps things going, keeps it together — and that people can count on to keep them informed so that they stay safe.”

One of the simulation’s planners emphasizes that you do not need to be a trained medical professional to help in these dire situations.

“What we’re teaching people is — that they have skills that they can help one another that they’re the help until help arrives,” said Mayo Clinic physician Robin Molella. “Even if we don’t have any specific medical skills, we can be compassionate, we can give psychological skills and be present for people, we can stop the bleed — these are all basic skills that everyone can learn. Neighbors are still important.”

Dr. Molella went on to say that everyone is welcome at next year’s event.

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Maddy Wierus

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