First responders learning new lifesaving skills

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - When emergency strikes, medical help may be far off.  However, training provided by American Medical Response services is making sure that any first responder can give aid.

"The importance of this training is to provide that basic need that individual needs in the first few moments of what's going on," said AMR Clinical Education Specialist Charles Wise.

The AMR First Responders class is for any person who might arrive to a scene before an ambulance, from deputies to fire fighters.

The most recent course is mostly made up of Harrison County Volunteer Firefighters who are expanding their training.

"We are increasing the fire training. We are increasing our rescue services. We are increasing our ability out there. But, we're also increasing our ability to take care of one another on a fire," said Harrison County Fire Marshal Pat Sullivan.

The class is conducted twice a week for eight weeks.  It covers everything from basic anatomy to legal responsibilities.

"The medical problem could be from chest pains to a stroke. It could be abdominal pains. It could be from a car crash. And, it teaches them the basic concepts of what they need to do," said Wise.

At the end of the course, the responders will take a national certification test.

"When you're nationally certified it tells people that you've been trained to a certain level, and that you are a professional when you walk in the door," said Sullivan.

With these classes, the county fire services and AMR hope to provide a better quality of protection and service for all county residents.

Responders aren't the only ones who are able to learn life saving skills.  There are several first aid and CPR classes that are offered to civilians through the American Heart Association and AMR.

To connect with a local class, click here.

The AHA has recently changed its CPR guidelines.  According the organization, the newer version of CPR calls for faster, harder compressions with less mouth to mouth.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.