The Joint Committee on Volunteer Fire Department and EMS met today for interim meetings in Morgantown. The committee heard from Monongalia County EMS. It was stated to the best care system, we need to think outside of county lines and collaborate to provide the best assistance in emergencies. Increasing funding for PEIA to reimburse EMS in helpful.
It’s important to remember EMS only gets reimbursed if they take someone somewhere. Frequently, EMS responds to call that don’t require a hospital transport. Some call EMS responds to include drug overdoses and mental health needs. During the presentation, it was stated that more training is coming from hospital and being used in field. This training could help determine whether EMS should transport to hospital, emergent care, or a mental health facility.
The Committee also received a presentation on House Concurrent Resolution 109. The resolution requests the Joint Committee on Education and the Joint Committee on health to cause and possible solution of issues relating to the current supply and future demand of EMS personnel in West Virginia. There is currently a workforce shortage, and the committee wants to determine the best way to meet the demand.
One way to combat the shortage is through the cares funding that has been received to help provide training for EMS. The Governor allocated $10 million EMS for Training. Monongalia County Technical Education Center will begin its first of two free training sessions in June. Of the 100 applicants, 50 were accepted into the training. Six career and technical schools to offer EMS programs. The funding also went to new vehicles for crews with training. There will also be a two-year course offered in high school that students can complete and receive an EMS certification along with high school diploma.