West Virginia Bolstering Emergency Medical Service Workforce

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia is allocating $10 million in federal coronavirus relief funding to bolster the state's emergency medical services workforce, Gov. Jim Justice said.

The Community and Technical College System, EMS community partners and state lawmakers reviewed current education and training opportunities for emergency medical technicians and paramedics and looked at areas of need, the Republican governor's office said in a news release Tuesday.

The state will buy mobile ambulance simulators to allow educational programs in all regions and embark on a public relations campaign for EMS careers. To provide no-cost training, the community college system has provided a total of $870,000 to 21 facilities, the statement said.

In addition, 5,500 large bags containing essential emergency medical equipment and supplies will be distributed to EMS workers across the state.

“Through these new and expanded efforts to train more EMS professionals, not only will we reduce the burden on our existing workers, but we will also grow this profession in our state, safeguarding West Virginians for generations to come,” Justice said.