If ever there’s an emergency and we need to call for an ambulance, you hope that you’re getting the best trained first-response team available.

Well, this is a short story about how that training happens.

Every month the entire First Response Team under the direction of Kevin Easton, training officer with DeSoto County Fire/Rescue, sets aside one day for instruction. The classes usually cover how to identify and treat stroke, cardiac arrest and heart attacks.

This month I witnessed the “Advanced Airway Management” class.

When I walked into the room, I noticed a dozen pig tracheas and lungs spaced out on the tables. Kevin explained: “The team was learning advanced procedures, they were performing cricothyrotmys.

“This procedure is done when we can’t insert a tube into a patient’s mouth. We cut a hole in the trachea and insert a tube to pump air into their lungs. The anatomy of a pig closely resembles a human, so we use pig organs to replicate the procedure as closely as possible.”

DeSoto County Fire/Rescue places a high priority on training ... and using the very latest lifesaving equipment. That should reassure all of us that we will be getting the best emergency treatment possible, if needed.

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