BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Morgan County will be on the receiving end of a federal grant aimed at getting EMS trained to support mental health and substance use response.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Public Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services announced Clay County and the Morgan County Rescue Service have been awarded part of that federal funding.

Morgan County Rescue Service received $200,000 for its Rural Recruitment Retention and Training Initiative, a comprehensive training and emergency personnel training recruitment program. The initiative focuses on recruiting and training new and existing EMS personnel, law enforcement, and volunteer firefighters, as well as addressing mental health and substance use response efforts.

Clay County received a $136,166 grant for the Clay County Ambulance Service to provide training for emergency medical services (EMS) providers on mental health and substance use disorders.

The aim is to train personnel on critical issues such as mental health and substance use disorders, but Jody Ratliff, Director of DHHR’s Office of Emergency Medical Services says the funding will help them enhance their workforce, which she says will improve their overall response for the residents they serve.

The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).