WVVA Hometown Hero: “Katie” Redden is a double-duty 1st Responder

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 6:24 PM EDT
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GREENBRIER COUNTY, W.Va. (WVVA) - First responders provide an integral service to the community and the nature of the jobs certainly qualifies everyone in the field for Hometown Hero status. But Katherine Redden works as a paramedic and as a volunteer firefighter in Greenbrier County. She’s been working on an ambulance for nearly twelve years; nine as an emergency medical technician, but for the last three years she’s been a certified paramedic. Long before that, Redden has also been a member of the Rupert Volunteer Fire Department, a role she maintains to this day.

Redden says there’s some additional stress with fire and EMS calls in rural communities, “A lot of times it’s really nerve-racking. Because a lot of the places, especially on the western end of the county, are like really far out. And sometimes it can take us up to 20 to 30 minutes to get to it makes you worry Because you can’t get there when they need you to get there,” Redden said.

Greenbrier county has been home for Redden since moving from McDowell County when she was in the ninth grade. It was her husband and co-worker, Mike who inspired her to add emergency medical services to her resume, “The EMS is actually my husband. He worked for another company years ago and we had actually come upon a wreck, and he got out to help and I just sat there, and I was like, this just really kills me that I can’t get out and actually do something to help when he is the only one out there able to help them right now,” said Redden.

Now that she’s qualified to help in a medical emergency, Redden says others can make a difference in the first responder realm without rushing into burning buildings or rendering life-saving medical attention, “Get out, get involved. If you want to, there’s a volunteer everywhere. There is not a whole lot of volunteer EMS anymore, but there’s the fire department. You’re helping us and EMS just like you’re helping the fire world. It’s really rewarding even if you don’t want to become a member, or I should say a volunteer fire fighter. You can become members and helping the fire house. Do their special events, because you can always help. There’s always somewhere that somebody can do something.” Redden said.