By: Rachael O’Neil | CBS 11 News

(CBSDFW.COM) – Some students in North Texas received firsthand experience in the medical world for free. With a shortage of healthcare professionals in Texas, state leaders hope this will help the drought.

READ MORE: First Lady Jill Biden And Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff Traveling To Texas

“It was just breathtaking because I got to do something nobody else gets to do and getting to do this was one of the most amazing things in my life,” said Xavier Juarez-Jacinto, a senior at Byron Nelson High School.

The senior is talking about helping deliver a baby in April. He’s a part of Northwest ISD’s one-year EMT program. The course also teaches students how to perform CPR, deliver oxygen and properly bandage wounds.

“We’re doing this to give kids a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” Greg Roark, an EMT instructor told CBS 11 News. “When they get out of here they will be able to earn their EMT certification which will allow them to work in a hospital setting immediately.”

READ MORE: Cameron Lavon Stephens, 18, Charged With Murder In Fatal Shooting Of Arlington Teen At Hurricane Harbor

They can also go to the military or become a paramedic by the time they’re 20. If the district didn’t cover these fees, a course like this would cost between $1,500 to $2,000. About 40 students are taking advantage of this opportunity.

Each student is required to complete 168 hours of coursework, including 48 hours of riding in an ambulance with paramedics. Roark says their level of dedication has the potential of saving many lives.

“They’re going to make medicine better in the future because they’re going to already have their foot in the door and be some of the best medical professionals,” said the EMT instructor.

MORE NEWS: Austin Police Arrest, Charge 19-Year-Old With Murder For 6th Street Mass Shooting

Northwest ISD campuses are planning to have at least 75 students in their EMT program next year.

CBSDFW.com Staff