GREENSBORO -- When you dial 911, it is local paramedics who rush to answer the call. But there's a nationwide shortage of them these days.

Surry Community College's paramedic training program is addressing that shortage by teaching students to handle more.

It covers traumatic injury treatment, high angle rescue, car extrication and search and rescue.

Kenneth Vaught, EMS Program coordinator and lead instructor, said, "The shortage, a lot I think is coming from the fact that people know to call 911 now. I think they're quickly learning that these trucks aren't just the old ambulance drivers of the 1960s. Today, these are pretty much a field emergency room."

Modern ambulances are equipped with most of the same equipment emergency room doctors use. They can even treat respiratory or cardiac issues in the field.

Paramedics say they plan to continue to work smart and hard to overcome the shortage they are experiencing nationwide.