Local college program focuses on saving lives


BEAVER, WV (WVNS) — They are often the first ones to help those in need. EMT’s play a crucial part in saving lives in the community. That is why New River Community and Technical College expanded its program to give students a more hands-on experience.

Travis Copenhaver is the New River Community and Technical College EMS Program Director.

“It’s filling the need for the workforce and the students to be able to get jobs that are decent paying jobs that have an opportunity for advancement,” said Copenhaver.

Travis Copenhaver tries to make his program as realistic as possible. For example, Pete is their real life dummy. He went into cardiac arrest, and Travis used a defibrillator to save his ‘patient.’

All EMS students use a mobile simulation lab, or a mock ambulance, to really understand how to save someone.

Travis’ realistic teaching is what makes students workforce ready. In some cases, the student becomes the teacher, like Matt Snuffer, a program instructor at the college.

“Seeing how his condition improved on the way to the hospital. Turns out he was actually having a heart attack. The things that paramedic did, probably saved his life. It was that night that’s what I want to do. I want to be that guy,” Snuffer said.

The college’s program focuses on educating and preparing future EMTs and paramedics to never skip a beat in the real world, helping save lives, one student at a time.

“Travis told me one time, there’s only so many people that I can save. But if I can train others to do the same, that’s even more people that we can save,” said Snuffer.

The college offers different programs that offer certifications for EMT, A-EMT, paramedic, and an associate’s degree. For more information, visit their website.

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