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With Super Bowl Road Closures, HCMC Develops Emergency Plan

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- We are less than a month away from the Super Bowl, and preparations are underway across the Twin Cities.

That includes Hennepin County Medical Center. The Level One Trauma Center is across the street from U.S. Bank Stadium.

Road closures around the stadium will affect routes ambulances take to get to the hospital. But there is a plan to make sure people who live here and out-of-town guests are taken care of if needed.

Hospital officials began developing a plan to best deliver services nearly two years ago.

"There's been a tremendous amount of time and hours and commitment to that planning," said Emergency Manager Mark Lappe.

Amublance Generic Hennepin County Medical Center
(credit: CBS)

There will be a larger staff in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. On-call personnel will be at the hospital on gameday instead of at home. And Lappe says this command center will be staffed on Super Bowl Sunday to make sure the hospital is ready to respond to a major event.

"Being ready means that we have the resources and the personnel and supplies to be able to surge up in case we have a large number of patients that are suddenly showing up at our door," Lappe said. "Whether it's a mass-casualty incident of some sort, like a bus rollover or shooting."

Road closures around the stadium are the norm, said Mike Trullinger with Hennepin EMS. He says first responders have had plenty of practice navigating ways to get to HCMC, most recently with the X Games last summer. Information about traffic back-ups will be shared in real-time.

"The streets are going to be packed, people are going to be walking around getting to the events and things like that, so we deal with that every day already, this is just going to be an increase," Trullinger said.

Usually the ambulances start at HCMC and are dispatched from there to calls for service.

On gameday, some ambulances will start at different locations around the metro.

While weather could also affect the ability to travel with ease, Trullinger said they are also used to that element.

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