Local WV county implements ‘quick response’ to fight opioid crisis

West Virginia

WAYNE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — For many living in the urban areas of our region, ‘Quick Response Teams’—or ‘QRT’s’—are nothing new.

However, in more rural areas these teams which help people who have overdosed on drugs are rare; until now.

Access to treatment in the aftermath of an overdose event is critical, especially in rural areas like those in Wayne County.

The ‘Quick Response Team’ created there is meant to help give people just that. The team is a small operation.

“The command center currently is my car! I keep all of my information here,” says EMS coordinator for the Wayne County Quick Response Team Dawn Streets.

Even so, this team has a big task: helping people who have overdosed on narcotics to connect with the appropriate recovery services.

“Sometimes I get phone texts or family members will call or a fire department will call and tell me—or an EMS agency—and tell me that they’ve had an overdose, can I go talk to this individual?” Streets says.

It’s a three-person team: including Dawn and two recovery coaches from Ascension Recovery Services in Huntington.

“When you’re in a low point, you feel like you’re alone, so what we do is we go out and we reach out to them and we show up for them,” says Kendrick Summers, a recovery coach with Ascension Recovery Services.

Which, in a rural community especially, is—as Dawn puts it:

“Critical. Because not only do we go talk to these individuals, but we provide them with Narcan and show them how to use it because EMS response times can be anywhere from a half an hour to 45 minutes or longer.”

The team has been up and running for three weeks and is continuing to partner with local organizations to create a broader community coalition and to help those feeling isolated and in need.

“We’re trying to provide in Wayne mainly because we’ve lost so many lives in Wayne,” Streets says.

For more information about the Wayne County Quick Response Team or to request a visit for a loved one, visit their Facebook page here, or call them at (304) 908-9565.

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