[BEAVER, W.Va.] Due to the need during the COVID-19 pandemic, New River Community and Technical College has opened its Pearson Testing Center to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers allowing them to test and earn provisional certification.
West Virginia has eleven Pearson Testing Centers, and until last week, all were closed due to the pandemic.
“The college was contacted by the National Registry and West Virginia Office of EMS,” explained New River CTC EMS Programs Director Travis Copenhaver. “Local agencies are short-staffed on a normal basis, and recently crews from both JanCare and Greenbrier County EMS have been quarantined due to exposure. Historic moves were made by the NREMT to allow for provisional certified providers who have completed classes but are unable to obtain psychomotor testing to take the cognitive exam and be granted provisional certification.”
New River CTC closed college campuses on March 24 as a precautionary measure, moving employees to working remotely, thus the decision to open the Student Success Center at the college’s campus in Beaver for testing required coordination and planning among college offices and staff to comply with CDC guidelines.
Director of Facilities Robert Runion worked closely with Copenhaver, Instructional Specialist for EMS Matthew Snuffer and Instructional Specialist Alberto Razo to plan and facilitate testing on April 6 and 7. Allowing space between students and limiting the number of students testing at a time were already standard processes within the testing center, but additional measures were taken regarding screening students following West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services protocols, cleaning and sanitizing, and providing appropriate personal protective equipment for both college employees and students.
“Originally the plan was to open New River CTC’s testing center on April 6 and 7 only allowing New River CTC students to test, but because of the need in southern West Virginia, testing has been opened to others who qualify,” Copenhaver added.
Appointments must be scheduled in advance, and testing times and dates are limited to Mondays and Tuesdays. Candidates needing to test will need their Authorization to Test letter from the National Registry of EMTs. To schedule testing, email Travis Copenhaver at firstname.lastname@example.org with your needs.
New River Community and Technical College serves nine counties in southeastern West Virginia from the Greenbrier Valley Campus (Lewisburg), Mercer County Campus (Princeton), Nicholas County Campus (Summersville) and Raleigh County Campus (Beaver).