EMS professionals from across the state participating in a leadership program at UC

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Hundreds of emergency management services (EMS) professionals from across the state are now in week two of a new University of Charleston leadership certificate program.

300 EMS professionals have signed up for the program, which began July 5 and is designed to improve the leadership skills of first responders. It is part of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s Emergency Management Services initiative.

According to Dr. John Barnette, Dean of Continuing and Professional Education at the University of Charleston (UC), the program lasts over 21 weeks and participants will complete five 7-week courses, earning an EMS leadership certificate and 15 college credits. that can be applied to a leadership degree program.


“For us and the first responders, there is a lot of excitement. We think it will make a difference because they are in every community in the state. If we can make an impact there, we’re more than happy to do so,” he told MetroNews.

Participants are organized into regional cohorts that engage online with supportive and experienced industry faculty via Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Courses taught in the program include crisis leadership, the importance of vision and culture in emergency management, stress and preventive means for physical and emotional aspects, as well as decision making and judgment. . There is also a final course on EMS Personal and Professional Conflicts.

The EMS Leadership Certificate program is part of a larger statewide initiative to address West Virginia’s need to attract, develop, and retain emergency medical service professionals, UC officials said. Barnette said UC has never done anything on this scale in terms of a leadership program.

Barnette believes it will empower hundreds of emergency medical service professionals to lead on the frontlines, making their communities a better place.

The new “EMS WV: Answer the Call Program” is supported by funds from the CARES Act.

Barnette said the program is expected to end at the end of November and there will be an on-campus graduation on December 9.

Kevin E. Boling