CORINTH, Miss. (WTVA) - For emergency medical technicians in the state of Mississippi, it's back to school as they take a state required course.
The new transitional course is designed to increase the EMT's capabilities, so more lives have a better chance of being saved.
"There's been quite a few changes in the EMT class so therefore we do quite a bit different things out in the field. With the basic life support that advances our technology and skill level," said Chris Kelley, firefighter.
"It helps us to be able to help our fellow firemen partners, the ones that we're with," adds Billy Briggs, Capt. Corinth Fire Department. "It helps us to watch out for dangers and recognize dangers that they maybe having that they don't realize that there trying to push through."
The EMTs face numerous challenges; one being the locations settings when responding to emergencies.
"There's not very many places we go where everything is sterile and nice and fresh," said Jeff Hilliard, training officer, Corinth Fire Department. "Most of the time they're down in a ditch and we have to get down there with them. That means we have to brave the elements."
The most challenging aspect of the EMTs is to get up-to-date with state guidelines when it comes to administering new medicines while out in the field.
"They have increased some of the medicines that we're able to help with," adds Hilliard. "We can help with breathing treatments now, where we were not able to before. We can actually check blood sugars now and administer the glucose that we were given for diabetics."
Every call is different when it comes to trauma and medicine, so staying calm under pressure, and knowing what to do at all times is important.
"As far as bleeding control and management, we're using turnicates a lot more now. It's actually saving limbs and saving lives," Hilliard said.