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Med City Marathon Learning From Tragedy

Posted at: 04/16/2013 9:48 PM
Updated at: 04/16/2013 10:14 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- In a little more than a month, downtown Rochester will once again be filled with thousands of runners and spectators enjoying the Med City Marathon.

And with the haunting images of the tragedy in Boston still fresh in their minds, organizers are determined to make sure the race is as secure as possible.

“We will meet with the Rochester Police Department and the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, working with them closely on security concerns for the event,” said race director Wally Arnold.

The race stations dozens of police officers and medical personnel near the finish line every year, a common sight for long distance races and a big reason why injuries in Boston were minimized as much as possible.

And even beyond the race track, emergency personnel throughout Olmsted county say they are prepared for just that kind of event.

“This is exactly the kind of multi-casualty incident that we have practiced for,” said Dr. Donald Jenkins, trauma medical director at St. Mary’s Hospital. “We have drilled for this exact thing."

And officials said their readiness for these kinds of events has improved over the past decade. Agencies like the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, Rochester Police Department, and medical groups like the Mayo Clinic and Gold Cross Ambulance Service have strengthened partnerships to ensure timely and effective response to such events.

And it's that cooperation and training on the part of emergency personnel that has Med City organizers feeling secure in their preparations.

“I feel fully confident in our law officers in this community that we'll be thoroughly prepared for anything that happens,” Arnold said.

Race organizers will be meet with police and other agencies this week to decide if any additional security measures are needed for this year’s race.