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Medical students and fire departments practice rural response skills

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW)- Medical students and local fire departments practiced their rural response skills at a La Crosse farm, learning from medical professionals in the area.

At the event, Gundersen Health System and Gundersen Air and Area Rescue staff, as well as first responders, guided participants through four different rural disaster stations. According to organizers, each was based on a real scenario, including a biking accident, tractor roll-over, and more.

Organizers stated the event attempts to make these scenarios as real as possible, so other medical personnel will be ready if they happen again. According to physician Kimberly Lansing, this marked the 12th annual training session, as the group was unable to host the event last year during COVID-19.

She believes providing this hands-on experience is a huge benefit for participants.

"We can all read about things in books, but actually getting there and seeing a little bit of the mud and blood and things, and getting the chance to actually take a tractor off of somebody and practice doing it without hurting yourself is invaluable," said Lansing.

Students from the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM), which aims to educate students on the specifics of rural medicine, agreed. WARM student Isaac Dzubay stated being able to practice their skills and make mistakes before responding to rural events in real life is very helpful.

"You know being in the WARM program, we're all from small towns and rural communities across Wisconsin and this is what we're going to see when we go in to practice," said Dzubay.

Dzubay stated the event was an amazing learning experience, as he and others had the opportunity to learn from rural experts that have dealt with such incidents first-hand.

According to Lansing, organizers plan to host a the event again next year, as it is helpful not only for attendees to practice, but also medical professionals.

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Grace Gilles

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