MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia is experiencing a shortage of people trained in EMT services. To help combat this issue, West Virginia University Extension is offering a free training course to help get people certified.

According to WVU Extension, due to the current shortage of EMT trained professionals, Gov. Jim Justice allowed funds to be allocated from the CARES Act in order to cover costs to train people who are interested in becoming certified.

The program comes from a partnership between WVU Extension and the Monongalia County Technical Center.

The training is designed to cover everything required to pass the National Registry Certification Exam, ranging from the basics all the way to more advanced procedures including care guidelines for newborns to geriatric patients.

A successful certification will allow one to work anywhere in West Virginia. Trainees will also have the option to take a national certification exam, which allows them to work anywhere in the U.S.

WVU Extension says that the certification is not only useful for a career in EMT services, but also for people who need to take care of sick or injured loved ones.

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

The complete course is 175 hours with several hands-on opportunities for trainees to learn first-hand. The course has brought in 270 participants since its launch, with 50% to 75% of them going on to get further certification.

The course is set to run from Jan. 26 through May 13, and is to be taught by Doug McDonald, an emergency care program coordinator at WVU Safety and Health Extension.

For more information about this program, contact the Monongalia County Technical Education center at 304-292-9243.