Calvert Co. Student Firefighters Excel at Statewide SkillsUSA Competition

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. –– Calvert County high school student and volunteer firefighter Phillip Ward won first place in the firefighting category at the 39th annual SkillsUSA Maryland Leadership and Skills Conference May 4 -5 at the Anne Arundel County Training Academy in Millersville, Md. Ward, a volunteer with the North Beach Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad and a senior at Northern High School, will go to Kansas City in June to compete at the national SkillsUSA event.

Calvert County students Greg Foard and Willie Gray, both seniors at Calvert High School, placed second and third respectively in the competition as they competed against high school students from throughout the state of Maryland. Foard is a member of the Benedict Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad and Gray is a member with the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department.

The students competed in the firefighting contest which evaluates the contestants’ preparation for firefighting careers through hands-on skill demonstrations and both written and oral presentations. Areas tested included safety, breathing apparatus, fire control and emergency medical care and rescue.

The firefighting category is one of 60 career and technical vocational areas featured in the SkillsUSA competition. Each year, the Maryland skills championships showcases over 800 career and technology education students as they compete for medals, scholarships and prizes.

First-place winner Ward qualified for the state competition after placing third in the regional competition held in March. He will move on to compete at the 48th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City on June 23-27.

Local students Ward, Foard and Gray are in the Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services program available to Calvert County high school students through the Career and Technology Center. The program is a joint venture between the Calvert County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association and the Calvert County public school system. Funded by Calvert County Government, the program is open to high school students age 16 years and older and includes emergency medical technician and firefighter instruction provided by the University of Maryland’s Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute. High school juniors and seniors earn up to 21 college equivalent credits, parents pay no tuition and the community benefits from the highly-trained volunteer services. Program courses are held at Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad.

To learn more about Calvert County’s Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services program, call 410-535-1600, ext. 2668 or call the fire/rescue station nearest you.

More information on SkillsUSA is available online at

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