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Priddy named Instructor of the Year by state EMS

August 24, 2018

Connie Priddy of Cabell County EMS is awarded the Instructor of the Year award by the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services on Thursday during the Cabell County Commission meeting in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — Cabell County EMS’ Connie Priddy has been named Instructor of the Year by the West Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services for her role in establishing and overseeing the state’s first Quick Response Team, which has served as a model for other counties to emulate in treating widespread addiction.

Priddy was presented the award Thursday morning during the Cabell County Commission meeting in Huntington.

“She is so positive, knowledgeable, and has done so much to encourage the staff at Cabell County EMS,” said Melissa Raynes, director of WVOEMS.

QRTs are organized by Cabell County EMS to visit each overdose victim in the county within 72 hours of an overdose, with a team comprised of a paramedic, a recovery clinician and a police officer. Visits are purely to make basic contact with the overdose victim and offer any help they can provide — ideally referring them to treatment.

Since the program began in December, QRTs have visited hundreds of victims in Cabell County and referred around 30 percent of those to treatment.

“I can’t tell you how much it means to me, but the bigger picture is that it represents Cabell County EMS as a whole and what they’re doing for the community and what the QRT has done for the community,” Priddy said.

Because the QRTs were still an experimental concept this time last year, Priddy said state recognition for her efforts is more of an affirmation that the program works. The state Legislature has since passed funding that would establish QRTs across the state.

It’s also a testament to the efforts of all of Cabell County EMS, the city of Huntington, Marshall University and a host of community partners that have contributed to the QRT’s first year, she added.

“We have had wonderful support and cooperation, and it’s allowed the Quick Response Team to take off,” Priddy said.

Priddy, a Huntington native, joined Cabell County EMS full time in 2012 as the organization’s compliance officer, a role that keeps her hands in everything from in-house education for emergency crews to infection control to keeping record of Cabell County’s overdose totals. She previously spent more than 30 years as a nurse, including 25 years as a flight nurse aboard hospital-based helicopter teams.

Follow reporter Bishop Nash on Twitter @BishopNash.

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