$300K grant helps Pa. EMS build training center focused on adding jobs
Moshannon Valley EMS sees an increase in EMS jobs and service with their new training facility in Centre County
By Halie Kines
Centre Daily Times
CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. — A project to construct a 9,350-square-foot emergency services building in Moshannon Valley received a financial boost in state funding.
The Moshannon Valley EMS will receive a $300,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant for the construction of a new ambulance and training center, which will be constructed at the site of the former Philipsburg Area Hospital. The Rush Township hospital closed in 1991.
The training center will help the MVEMS "meet a critical need" in Centre County, a press release from the county stated. The Centre County Commissioners approved the grant during their meeting Tuesday.
The EMS covers rural portions of three counties and currently covers about 732 square miles. Wes Cartwright, MVEMS chief, said the training facility will be a "big boost" for the Philipsburg area. The center will include a large training facility where the EMS can host training to support their operations, the release states, and will have garage space for eight ambulances.
With the training center, at least 10 new jobs will be created and 35 existing jobs will be retained. It will also provide a space where medical services personnel can receive training, the release states.
"Annually, approximately 60 emergency medical services personnel will receive training at this new headquarters. With more training opportunities, the number of EMS personnel will increase, which there is an immediate need for, especially in the rural community," the release states.
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Cartwright said they currently have a training room at the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership, where they've started holding some classes. But they've long outgrown the space, so the dedicated training center is much needed.
Centre County Commissioner Amber Concepcion, the commissioners' liaison to the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership, is excited to see the project move forward.
"It's just become so clear to me the critical role that the Moshannon Valley EMS serves in terms of the overall health care infrastructure in that area of our county and into Clearfield County, and how much you're doing there that goes really above and beyond what most EMS services are able to offer because of the community support for your organization, and the kind of volunteer base that you have," Concepcion said during Tuesday's meeting.
In the release, Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA, said the grant will help ensure the Moshannon Valley area "continues to have critical emergency medical services and will improve MVEMS's capacity to train and support other medical first responders throughout rural Central Pennsylvania."
"Rural Pennsylvanians should feel safe knowing there are enough well-trained medical first responders ready to deliver critical, lifesaving care whenever there is a crisis," Casey said in the release.
The project total for the MVEMS ambulance and training headquarters is $2,085,111. A large portion — $1.2 million — is through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program and Local Share Account. About $585,000 is from local financing and $300,000 is from the ARC.
Cartwright said they'll hopefully begin construction by fall 2024.