Killdeer girls off to International Conference

Kassidee Willis and Celeste Musick were on a bus headed back to Killdeer from the North Dakota HOSA State Leadership Convention when they heard the news they were going to Disney World.


Willis and Musick teamed up to take second in the CPR/First Aid division at the HOSA state convention on March 4-5 at the University of Jamestown in Jamestown. And by doing so, they qualified for the 2017 National HOSA Convention in Orlando, Fla. in June.

HOSA, which stands for Health Occupation Student Association, is designed to give students who want to enter the medical field a platform to experience different aspects of the field.

More than a hundred high school and middle school students from around the state competed in the two-day event, that featured 38 events representing various fields in the medical profession.

Willis, a sophomore, shed happy tears while Musick, a senior, beamed from ear to ear hugging her teammate after they were told of their results. Their teammates shared their joy is congratulatory backslaps, high fives and hugs.

“It was amazing,” Willis said.

The girls were part of a 12-member Killdeer contingent that competed in the two-day conference. And it did pretty well, with Killdeer placing in five events. In addition to Willis and Musick, Killdeer saw Tyra Dahlen, Chelsey Morlock and Kaitlyn Warren team up for sixth-place in Creative Problem Solving, Chenneth Morlock was sixth in Extemporaneous Health Poster, Kurtlynn Hall was sixth in Veterinary Science, Keia Holding Eagle was seventh in Health Career Photography, and Annie Schwatzenberger was eighth in Medical Reading.

Killdeer missed the awards ceremony because school officials wanted to get on the road early in hopes of beating a rapidly moving storm.

Willis and Musick had their own storm and they beat just about everybody in their division. Kaylee Arndt and Elisabeth Kold of Sheyenne High School won first place.

“We were pretty confident going up there,” said Willis, who added that the two had been practicing for several months prior to the competition.

There were a variety of emergency scenarios that would be available for the state competition. Each team had the opportunity to review all the scenarios prior to the contest, but they would not know which scenario they would be assigned the day of the competition.

The girls worked for two months on all the scenarios. They recruited friends to be their victims.

Their desire wasn’t surprising, said HOSA advisor Cherie Rosau, because both are very interested in the medical field. Willis is in an EMS class at school and Musick, the president of the HOSA chapter, is certified to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid.

To qualify for the state competition, the girls had to take a test on general first aid and CPR. They combined their scores and the average has to be a minimum of 80 percent.

Their assigned scenario included an adult who needed CPR because he was unresponsive and not breathing, and at the same time, a child choking. Manikins were used for the competition and they had 12 minutes to save those individuals.

“We had to save those people,” Musick said. “I blacked everything around us out and went for it. I felt like it was a live experience.”

“We put on our gloves and got to work. It was a great experience,” Willis added.

The girls followed the proper procedure, like using proper protective equipment, assessing and securing the scene, calling 911, and applying emergency measures.

Musick took the child and applied the Heimlich maneuver. She worked on the victim for four minutes before the judge said the blockage has been dislodged.

Meanwhile, Willis started CPR on the adult, doing chest compressions and utilizing the bag mask. Musick joined in, and together they did seven cycles of compressions.

At the six-minute mark, the judge said the victim had been resuscitated.

“The judges said Killdeer is a safer place because of you two,” Musick said, with a shy, almost embarrassed smile.

Roshau was smiling, too.

“I saw how hard they worked,” she said. “I’m delighted. I’m not surprised. I really believed they had it in them”

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