Paramedics Head Out On Patrol With Deputies

"What we're trying to do, us, the state marine patrol and the Coast Guard, is give the public better safety and better response if a situation occurs," Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy Lt. Robbie Cox said.

Cox says accidents on the water often cause serious injury. Most emergency workers would agree that response time is a crucial part of saving lives.

"If you have an injury on the water, you've got that delayed time before you can get them to an ambulance or to proper care," Deputy Michael Howe said.

"The idea is down here, not only helping the sheriff's department but any other police agencies out here is to get us there quicker to help take care of people," paramedic Bill Clark said.

Fun on the water can quickly turn deadly.

"If they've drowned or not breathing, within five or six minutes, you know, they are in very critical condition at that time is of the essence," Clark said.

That's why paramedics on land and sea could become the wave of the future in South Mississippi.

"If it works out, I think what we're going to try to do is have a paramedic on the boat and hopefully it will spread out to where we can have a paramedic not only on one of our boats on the back working the river and bayou area but also out front."

Later this week, the sheriff will meet with AMR's director to look at the success of the weekend program. Paramedics could soon be regular a sight on sheriff's marine operations vessels on weekends and other busy boating times.