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A Cabell County EMS worker has died from COVID-19.

HUNTINGTON — A Cabell County EMS employee was among 52 COVID-19 deaths reported by state health officials Friday.

Norma Ward, an emergency medical technician for Cabell County Emergency Medical Services for five years, died Thursday of COVID-19. First responders escorted her body to a funeral home Thursday evening.

Ward was a wife and mother of two children, a little girl and boy.

She is at least the second local first responder to have died from COVID-19, following Lawrence County Deputy Boyd Blake, who died earlier this week.

Gordon Merry, director of Cabell County EMS, said Ward’s death had been horrible on the EMS community.

“She was loved by everyone,” Merry said. “She did an excellent job on transportations.”

A social media post announcing her death was shared Friday with former patients telling of her kindness and professionalism in their time of need.

Merry said Cabell EMS deals with COVID-19 patients daily. Ward’s death is the second among area EMTs that he is aware of, but he said emergency medical service workers nationally and locally are still struggling 18 months into the pandemic.

“The other day we had eight people, either with it or quarantined,” he said. “That doesn’t sound like a lot, but eight people equates to four ambulances.”

He said Ward was out of work for a short period of time before her death.

A fundraiser has been set up in her name to help with financial contributions needed for her family.

Courtney Hessler is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, covering police and courts. Follow her on Facebook.com/CHesslerHD and via Twitter @HesslerHD.

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