Weather Forecast


Drilling down to excellence

Red Wing ambulances, squad cars and firetrucks block the entrance to the Red Wing High School parking lot Thursday during an emergency drill.

The parking lot at Red Wing High School was transformed into the scene of a disaster Thursday afternoon.

As part of a drill, a school bus was tipped on its side and volunteers acted the parts of injured crash victims as authorities responded to the scene.

The Red Wing Police Department, Red Wing Fire Department, Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Highway Patrol and Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing all participated.

People were taken from the bus and loaded onto ambulances and one person was taken away in the Mayo Clinic helicopter.

Jane Gisslen, director of Emergency and Urgent Care at the Red Wing medical center, organized the drill and said everything went according to plan.

“On the plus side, we learned we have great partners in the community,” she said, adding one of the most important aspects of handling a disaster situation well is the relationship between the different responders.

She said they were able to identify some gaps in their emergency plan, but nothing major.

When an emergency plan is written sometimes it looks good on paper, but doesn’t always play out that way in reality, Gisslen said. That is why it’s important to have these types of drills.

Communication between everyone was strong, she said, the care for the patients was good, and everyone took the drill seriously.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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