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Anderson Teens Take First Place in National EMT Competition

ANDERSON, S.C. -- Two Westside High School graduates from Anderson took home first place in a national emergency medical technician competition in Dallas last week.

Adam Guthrie and Justin Bryant, both 18, competed against more than 50 students in the EMT event at the Health Occupations Students of America National Leadership Conference, which involved thousands of students from across the nation. The Anderson teens traveled to the conference with five classmates from Hanna-Westside Extension Campus in Anderson.

"It felt great. It felt wonderful," Bryant said about winning the competition. "At first I was stunned."

Guthrie said before the announcer even could finish saying the word Hanna, his partner's mouth dropped.

"I said 'Dude, why are you still standing there? Come on,'" Guthrie said. "It was pretty cool, and our teacher was crying."

The competition included a 50-question written test along with an emergency simulation involving two victims for which each teammate had to care.

After taking an EMT course offered at the Extension Campus taught by Jason Whaley, the teens placed second in a statewide competition that rendered them eligible for the national competition.

Guthrie said he joined the class because it sounded like it would be fun but now hopes to become EMT-certified next week. Bryant, who also hopes to become EMT-certified next week, plans to attend Anderson University in the fall and to go to medical school to become a physician who handles emergency cases.

Westside High School graduates Adam Guthrie, left and Justin Bryant, right, stand with their teacher Jason Whaley while posing with their first place medals at the National Leadership Conference in Dallas, TX.

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