WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — They are calling it a “game-changer” for West Virginia Northern Community College. But you could say it is a “game-changer” for West Virginia as a whole. 

A new truck just arrived on campus and it has already doubled the number of EMT students signing up for classes next semester.

“I didn’t think I’d see anything like this, anywhere,” said Northern’s EMS Director Linda Steele.

The piece of equipment is one of five in West Virginia. Governor Jim Justice hopes this $5-Million grant, as part of his Answer the Call initiative, will spike the EMS workforce in the state.  

Healthnet flight nurse Nick Cooper dropped off the mobile ambulance simulator and said everything is covered down to the gas cards. Cooper wishes he could have had his hands on this when learning CPR. 

“A one-year veteran already and they just got their card yesterday.” 

“We can put in IVs, he will cry. We can put in a catheter. He can urinate. There’s blood. We can make him bleed. He can seize, talk, blink eyes. Other than walking, like robotics, there’s not much we can’t simulate.” 

Nick Cooper, Director of Education Healthnet Aeromedical Services

Not to mention active child birth!

“These high-definition simulation mannequins are like $100,000. Most schools do not have that in the budget,” said Steele.

The program is only 1.5 years old, but saw 14 students this semester and will now see 26 next semester. 

“We have students that come from Chester, Newell, Hundred, Paden City, Sistersville. We could now bring the simulator to them,” said Steele. “This is going to be a game-changer for EMS education.” 

And a game-changer for those facing emergencies. 

“As a patient,” said Cooper “You don’t want to be the first time a student is performing a skill, on you.”