More than 60 EMS responders around the region gathered at the Quillen College of Medicine today to take part in a day of advanced training at ETSU's simulation lab.

It's not easy being a first responder, but those who are say they love it.

"Most of us just have a passion, not everybody can do this job, but those who are in it have been called to this specific job," says Jordan Bickmore with Washington County-Johnson City EMS.

"I just enjoy the hands on part of working in EMS," adds Chris Hitechew.

Chris Hitechew works part time as an emergency responder and says when he heard about the extra training he'd receive Saturday, he knew he wanted to be a part of it.

"When I saw that it was going to involve simulation and those type of things I said, 'this is going to be fascinating' so that is what draw me to come," he adds.

Throughout the day, participants took part in disaster scenarios with mass casulaties, learned advanced airway skills and pediatric scenarios, and got hands-on in the anatomy lab.

Washington County-Johnson City paramedic Jordan Bickmore says working in the lab was a unique experience. "We get hands on with the heart, see the different chambers, [and] we also were able to hold a brain and see the spinal cord and the processes of the spine," he adds.

Quillen College med students created the training as a way to show  first responders scenarios they may not have seen before.

I think it's important that people realize that EMS is the first line healthcare and you really have to take value in that," says Sean Oschsenbein.

Sean says he's happy to be able to help close the training gap and open up more experiences EMS personnel.

The director of Saturday's conference tells News 5 she's thankful the school can provide training to the responders that's both affordable and convenient.