POINT PLEASANT — For the first time ever, a basic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class covering West Virginia and national requirements is taking place in Mason County.
Dennis Zimmerman, Mason County EMS director, shared with the sponsorship and funding from Workforce Development, West Virginia Public Service Training and the U.S. Department of Labor this class was made possible. These three entities are funding the entire program which costs approximately $55,000. Neither Zimmerman nor and the 11 students enrolled in the class had to pay. Zimmerman is providing the location for the class and supplying necessary equipment needed for learning. All of the students enrolled in the program are Mason County residents.
The team at Mason County EMS did a lot of legwork to make this possible as Mason County is need of more EMTs and training is expensive, commented Zimmerman. In April of this year, is when the ball really got rolling for this EMT class and the funding was approved to begin the classes on Sept. 3. Over 40 individuals applied to be in the class, 27 were interviewed, and 11 were selected. These students will be undergoing approximately 300 hours of classroom and clinical training, so they will be able to take their national registry exam for certification at the beginning of December. Upon graduation of this program, all of these students will become EMTs for Mason County.
“The students are doing fantastic,” said Zimmerman. “They come from a wide range of the county and I’m very pleased to hear the feed back from Workforce (Development) and West Virginia Public Service Training. They have been phenomenal and we couldn’t have gotten better students.”
Not only is this the first ever EMT class of its kind to be taught at Mason County, but it is just the second of its kind in the state. Zimmerman and leaders from the three funding entities have been talking about bringing other sorts of training classes to area such as an EMS telecommunications dispatch training class.
(Editor’s note: Pictured in the photo, alongside Mason County Commissioners Rick Handley, Sam Nibert and Tracy Doolittle, County Clerk Diana Cromley and Mason County EMS Director Dennis Zimmerman are Director of Workforce Development Janelle Comstock, Mason County EMS Community Involvement Director Elisabeth Lloyd, Mason County Director of Training Charlene Templeton, Workforce Development Representatives Miranda Lough and Amber Jackson, and EMT students Nikole Smith, Madison Harper, Monika Barlar, Danny Kaye, Robert Marchel, Cole Johnson, Brya Hughes, Jessi Thorp and Becky Hieronymus. Those not pictured include Mason County EMS Lead Instructor Danny Cronin and EMT students Howard Wood and Raymond Justis.)
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.