McDowell EMS interns earn top spots in competition


At Monday’s regular meeting, the McDowell County Commissioners recognized several McDowell CTE students who won at the SkilIsUSA competition. The EMS intern students recognized were (front row, center group) Blaine Williams, Sierra Kelley, McKenzie Galloway and Caleb Parker.

At Monday’s regular meeting, the McDowell County Commissioners recognized some of the McDowell CTE students who won at the SkilIsUSA competition.

Mary Finley with the McDowell High CTE program introduced the students and reviewed their accomplishments. SkillsUSA is a career and technical student organization for students who are enrolled in training programs in the technical and skilled service occupations. It is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. This year, the SkillsUSA event was held in Greensboro April 18-20.

More than 2,300 student competitors participated in more than 120 contests along with more than 100 business and industry partners.

On Monday, Finley introduced the four EMT students who participated to the McDowell County Commissioners. EMT students have to prepare a resume, interview, pass a written exam and complete four patient assessment stations that involve medical and trauma situations. Caleb Parker earned first place while McKenzie Galloway earned second place. Sierra Kelley came in third and Blaine Williams placed fourth. Commission Vice Chairman Barry McPeters is their instructor and all four are working as interns with McDowell EMS.

“This is our fourth year of competing with EMT,” said Finley. “We have taken top spots each year.”

Finley added that Blaine Williams was able to secure a 10th place win after almost giving after almost giving it up doing what he loves. He stopped and did a patient assessment on a fellow rider after a wreck rendered the rider unconscious. Blaine gave all the vital information to officials and went on to finish 10th in that competition.

She thanked Emergency Management Director William Kehler and the EMS for all the support they give these students.

Other students from McDowell High also took part in the SkillsUSA event.

They were (automotive) Dallas Harris and Gage Pool; (cabinetmaking) Josh Ledford, Caleb Harding, Chase Wainscott and Channing Watson; (fire) Kelsey Sarver, Desiree McLaughlin, Kayla Walker, Andrew Riggs, Zeb Vance and Shane Snoddy; (law and justice) Keever Slagle and Besarda Mehaj; (masonry) Eric Bustos, Ryan Snoddy, Trever Simmons and Ethan Powell.

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