McDowell youth have the chance to spend three days learning life-saving skills and drug/alcohol awareness with the eight annual McDowell EMS Safety Camp, starting June 20 at East McDowell Middle School.

The camp, which first began in 2010, was designed to educate children in CPR and First Aid with a special emphasis on water, pet, boating and ATV safety.

In a statement on the McDowell EMS website, Emergency Services Director William Kehler said, “We are very excited to conduct the 8th annual EMS Safety Camp for the youth of McDowell County. Our agency continues to work each day in an effort to prevent serious injuries among our citizens. Trauma remains the number one cause of death among youth in the United States. We feel prevention is the key to reducing the devastating effects trauma incidents have on families.”

During the three-day event, children will be divided into groups based upon age and will rotate through a total of 16 stations. Courses taught over the three days include: CPR, first aid, water / boating safety, fire safety, stranger danger, alcohol / drug awareness, gun safety, bicycle safety, hazardous weather, pet safety, wilderness first aid, vehicle safety, and ATV safety.

McDowell EMS has partnered with a number of agencies including McDowell County Emergency Management, McDowell County 911 Communications, Marion Police Department, McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Highway Patrol, NC Wildlife, and fire departments from across McDowell County, who have committed to providing instructors for the event.

The EMS Safety Camp will run June 20-22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at East McDowell Middle School. Total costs of registration is $20. Registration and payment must be received by June 16.

To register online or download a printable copy, go to