CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A new EMS headquarters and training center is coming to Centre County and thanks to new funding, that space could be opening sooner rather than later.

Mo Valley EMS has been looking to create a new headquarters for some time now, gathering money for the project over the past year.

Manager Wes Cartwright said the station has outgrown its current building and is in need of more trained staff.

“We’ve got to get more people,” Cartwright said.

The station serves portions of three Central Pa. counties over a span of 732.4 square miles.

“We’re all pulling locally from Clearfield and Centre to Blair,” Cartwright said. “All of the surrounding counties are pulling the same paramedics. There’s just not a lot going into training them so we’re hoping that having something local will spark more interest and get more people involved.”

At the Centre County Commissioners’ latest meeting, the board approved a $300,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Grant was approved to help fund the new headquarters and training center in Rush Township.

“The grant award not only includes the ARC application funds but also $1 million in RACP funds and also local financing in the amount of $585,111,” Ray Stolinas, Director of Planning and Community Development said.

Cartwright said trainings through Mo Valley EMS aren’t new, with classes currently being offered around the county. The new headquarters, which will be built at the former Phillipsburg Hospital site, will serve as an expansion.

“It aims to train 60 new and incumbent workers and trainees per year and create 20 jobs over the next couple of years,” Betsy Lockwood with SEDA-COG said. “Often times, the emergency services can be the first step in a healthcare career. So, this could be like a pipeline, serve as a pipeline, for the local hospitals.”

The project is estimated to cost just under $2.1 million to complete.

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“Your job is to save people, not to raise money necessarily, and this hopefully will take a little bit of the pressure off of you in that regard,” Commissioner Steve Dershem said.

Cartwright said the organizers are waiting for some final funding on the federal level to be confirmed to reach that total cost. Depending on when that is secured, he said they could be breaking ground on the new headquarters next year.