Become an Emergency Medical Technician!

BUCKHANNON — If you have ever considered becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), there is no better time than the present! Upshur County EMS is excited to announce they will be offering a new EMT course that is scheduled to begin orientation on October 12 in their newly remodeled training facility.

Matt and Amanda Crawford are the local lead EMT instructors who will be teaching the 200-hour course. An additional 16-hour Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) will also be offered in conjunction with the EMT classes. Matt has been an EMT instructor for about 10 years, while this will be Amanda’s first chance to take the lead. 

The classes will be held once per week, for approximately a 16-week duration.  Matt said the classes have typically convened on Sundays, but he leaves that up to the participants and said majority rules. He added that the class may extend for an additional week, depending on holidays or if additional review is needed. The Crawford’s intend to provide a high-quality course and assure that they will make every effort to not only help students pass, but also become competent and knowledgeable EMT’s. 

Historically, there has unfortunately been a statewide lack of EMT education standards, programming consistency and resulting pass rates, according to Matt. He was proud to report that the entire state finally adopted the national registry standard this year, which he says will align West Virginia and Upshur County with the rest of the country, as well as enable compliance with the national standard of care.

“The pass rate in West Virginia right now is horrible,” Matt stated.  “The first attempt pass rate is only 39% for EMT’s.” Comparatively, Crawford reported the nationwide average for first attempt pass rate is 67%. 

Remarkably, Matt boasts a 95% first attempt pass rate for the students he has instructed. When Matt was asked why his pass rates are so much higher than the state and even national averages, he attributed the success to the additional hours he requires in the courses he delivers, which are tailored to the individual ways he determines that his students best learn, along with homework, hands-on exercises, and utilization of the Brady textbooks and computer programs.

Matt said becoming an EMT can provide a very rewarding career or even been used as a steppingstone to a higher certification, such as a Paramedic or other medical professions. There is presently a national and statewide shortage of EMT’s, so the job market is wide open.  Matt added that there’s currently two full-time positions open right here in Upshur County.  

The program is very affordable at just $750, which includes tuition, books, identification badge, uniform shirt, drug test, EVOC, MCI, CPR and Hazmat Awareness. If you are interested, please contact Matt Crawford immediately at 304-472-1224 or [email protected]


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