WESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Lewis County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) recently received a grant to host a free 165-hour Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class for 20 students.

Within this 165-hour course, students will go through training where they will use a new Ambu mannequin and learn the ins and outs of working in the field like how to use the equipment. Once students get a National Certificate, they will be able to test for the State Certificate and then enter the workforce. Taylor mentioned that they will have some job openings in Lewis County and that the National Certificate fee will be covered by the class.

James Taylor, Coordinator of the Lewis County EMS, applied for the grant before the end of July to arrange the class in correlating safety training.

According to Taylor, there were 4,000 working providers in the state before the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March of this year, they have lost 1,800 working providers

“I think this will be a good opportunity for young or old to get into EMS for a career. Takes a special kind of person, someone who wants to give and care. And maybe it’s not for everybody, but this opens a lot of doors financially for people that wouldn’t be able to do it. And this time after COVID, we are short-staffed statewide,” Taylor said.

The class will start on Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. and will meet over a period of five months. They have a course schedule with times that can be viewed, along with a link to apply for the class.

There will also be an open house on Friday, Aug. 19, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for those who want to check out the squad and receive more information on the class and what it entails. The class and open house will be held at 155 W 2nd Street in Weston, West Virginia.