Albany- Inside Albany High School, the health occupation classroom looks a lot like an emergency room.
Small groups of students are dressed in scrubs and standing at stretchers and hospital beds. Some are performing CPR. Others are using a defibrillator.
"These students could be the next doctors, the next nurses, the next paramedics," said Charles Proctor, the paramedic and EMS Instructor at Albany Technical College.
Right now, the students are learning to be first responders.
"There's such a demand for first responders all around in the community," said Donna Mauldin, the school's health occupation teacher.
Lydia Jones and her classmates are already certified to perform CPR and use a defibrillator.
"We've learned everything from pulse taking to learning how to put in catheters," said the 18-year-old Senior. The class only started in January.
With the help of instructors from Phoebe Putney EMS and Albany Technical College, the first responder class is helping students take the first steps towards a career in medicine. They will take a national test to be certified first responders in April.
"When they proceed on to college or a technical school of their choice, they've got a little upper spot in knowledge of medicine," Mauldin said.
Many of the students know they want to work in medicine. Lydia wants to be a nurse.
"I like helping others, and I like the challenge of it." The challenge of a profession where job performance is saving lives. "My philosophy is, get the information in there early, spark that interest and push them a long. Because they'll be the one saving our lives, one day," Proctor said.
One day, when the students have successful healthcare careers that began inside classroom walls at Albany High School.