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WVU Extension offers EMT training free of cost

Woman on a gurney being loaded into an ambulance by a few men at an EMT training course.

There is a shortage of emergency medical service providers in West Virginia and across the nation. To help combat this issue, West Virginia University Extension will offer a free emergency medical technician course, from January 26 through May 13.

This EMT training course is taught by Doug McDonald, emergency care program coordinator at WVU Safety and Health Extension. This program is a partnership between Monongalia County Technical Education Center and WVU Extension.

Because of the ongoing shortage of emergency care providers, Governor Jim Justice allocated funds from the CARES Act to cover training costs for interested people in the state.

The training begins at the basics and gets more advanced throughout the program, so no former experience or education is required. Topics covered include patient assessments, medical trauma, and care guidelines for newborns all the way to geriatrics.

This knowledge can be beneficial not only for an EMT career but also for people who need to take care of sick or injured family or friends.

“In a small community, we run on volunteers and people who want to help,” said Cody Liddle, a participant in the WVU Extension EMT training. “It will help a lot to get this many people trained so we can help out in our communities.”

After the course, participants take the National Registry Certification Exam to get state certification to work anywhere in West Virginia. They also have the option to take a national certification exam, with which they are able to work anywhere in the U.S.

This training course is 175 hours and provides participants with a wealth of hands-on learning opportunities. Since this training began, it has brought in 270 participants, with 50% to 75% of those going on to get certified afterward.

“They come from having basically no medical training or knowledge to being able to go out into the field and take care of someone who is either critically ill or injured and save a person’s life, it really makes a difference,” McDonald said. “Once you become an EMT, I don’t think your opportunities to provide care and services to people in need ever stop.”

For more information and registration, contact the Monongalia County Technical Education Center at 304-291-9243. To learn more about WVU Safety and Health Extension and upcoming classes, visit

If you want to learn more about WVU Extension, visit or follow @WVUExtension on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.