Yesterday, the Owatonna Fire Department created a large-scale crash scene to practice their rescue training. Members of the Owatonna Police Department and Gold Cross also participated, as did Dean's Towing and Owatonna Bus Co.

Kelly Hanson, the Fire Department's training coordinator, said the department conducts an training exercise involving a large-scale accident or major disaster every year.

This year's exercise was held at Mike's Repair on 32nd Avenue Northwest in Owatonna and was simulated to appear as if the crash had happened on Old Highway 14 and 32nd Avenue. Emergency personnel had to deal with a truck that hit a bus and multiple cars, with multiple victims of varying ages.

It was an opportunity for responders to practice their unique extrication procedures, Hanson said. They "don't get bus accidents all the time," so those procedures may not be as fresh in their minds.

The department brought in instructors from Safety and Security Consultation Specialists of Minnesota Lake.

Melissa Beaver with Gold Cross said it was a "great opportunity to work with the fire department and to practice."


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