Emergency-responder fashion show set for April 15

by Dennis Dalman – news@thenewsleaders.com

Emergency-response women will strut down the runway, modeling their responder gear, during a fashion show called “Response Couture” from 4-6 p.m. Monday, April 15 in the ballroom near the Gorecki Center on the campus of the College of St. Benedict.

If the weather is decent, the event may take place outdoors.

“Response Couture” is free and open to anyone.

The fashion show is a chance to give women and men information about careers involving emergency response and emergency management.

Organizers of “Response Couture” are members of EMPOWER-Minnesota, which means “Emergency Management Professionals for Women’s Enrichment.” One of those members is Jill Luehmann, a Sartell police officer. The purpose of the organization is to let women know there are professional-development opportunities available for careers in emergency response and management.

The runway modeling shows will take place at 4:15 p.m. and again at 5:15 p.m.

At the fashion show there will be many women from area police departments, fire departments, emergency-management agencies, public health, the American Red Cross, community emergency-response teams and the Minnesota Responds Medical Reserve Corps.

This year, the target group for the event is Girl Scouts of Central Minnesota, as EMPOWER-Minnesota wants to make young girls aware of the potential for rewarding careers in those fields.

Rachel Erickson is the emergency-preparedness specialist for the St. Cloud Hospital. As a member of EMPOWER-Minnesota, she serves as logistics and coordinator for events. EMPOWER is a nationwide network of organizations. Its local groups are non-profit. EMPOWER-Minnesota was started three years ago. There are eight core members, each of which has a specific duty in its chain-of-command structure.

Erickson said she hopes people of all ages and walks of life come to the “Response Couture” event because there are so many things to learn there. For example, there will be a “rollover simulator” that gives participants a first-hand feel of what it’s like to roll over in a vehicle during an accident. The professionals at the event will all have equipment on hand, and they will show visitors how they use that equipment in an informal setting. They will also answer any questions visitors may have. There will also be ambulances, fire trucks and other emergency equipment at the event.

People don’t have to register; they can show up. They are also welcome to attend part of the show and leave, Erickson noted.

Dennis Dalman

Dennis Dalman


Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.
Dennis Dalman
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