WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – For an EMT or paramedic, there’s really no such thing as being “off the clock”. 

If an emergency happens, they’re ready to respond. 

Now, they’ll always have the tools with them to do so. 

As part of Governor Jim Justice’s EMS WV: Answer the Call initiative to strengthen the state’s Emergency Medical Services, all EMTs and paramedics in the state are being given medic bags. 

Some were distributed in the Northern Panhandle on Tuesday in Wheeling and New Martinsville.

Each kit is eqipped with anything that could be needed to respond to a medical emergency, even when a first responder is not on the clock. 

Officials say EMS is facing a tough time right now with staff shortages and a high call volume and this is the Governor’s way of assisting. 

Everywhere we’ve gone to do the delivery of the bags and showcase the EMS simulation devices we have it’s well received. The EMS providers see that the Governor is paying attention to EMS needs and it’s making a difference.

Clinton Burley, President & CEO, Healthnet Aeromedical Services

Money for these kits came from the state’s Emergency Management Crisis Fund. 

It was created in 2021 with $10 million in CARES Act money to provide resources to help first responders in the Mountain State. 

That money also contributed to five mobile ambulance simulators that are located across the state to assist with EMS training. One of them in stationed in Wheeling and was on display during the medic bag distribution.