DESOTO COUNTY, MS -- They're back from the east coast, but there's no rest for Mississippi's first responders.
DeSoto County's Search and Rescue Team was part of the task force dispatched during Hurricane Sandy. EMS crews are back in town and already training for the next disaster.
Team members arrived home last weekend. This weekend, they're spending just about every hour in K-9 training.
"For the next three days, day and night we're going to be out working rubble piles and explosive detection," says EMS Chief Bobby Storey.
They're fresh off a mission in Maryland, "outside of Baltimore," Storey says. He and his team took part in strategizing the state's emergency operations.
"We were given a large map. They just said from this point back this is your area. We monitored that and would talk to people in the field. If they needed, we were ready to respond."
This week Storey's crew is making sure the county's five K-9s are ready.
"We've got everything from tracking and trailing dogs to collapsed structure to explosive detection, cadaver. We have all the dogs here," he tells abc24.com.
They're training with teams from all over the country and beyond; even Ireland.
"We've just set up the first disaster response team in Ireland," says Padraig O'Keeffe. "Our training is based in North Carolina, we're just here four days." He will be his country's first certified responder.
"We're going to be doing all the search and rescue work here," he says. "I'll take (what he learns) back."
O'Keeffe says he came to Mississippi to train with the best. In a year or so he'll be back with recruits. "We've talked about bringing some of the team back over here and the chief will be putting them through their paces, training in rubble pile and the medical aspects of things."
The K-9 teams were training in Eudora today. Tonight they'll be in Oxford. Tomorrow teams have all day exercises in Olive Branch. DeSoto County completes this re-certification every year.