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Holien, 46, was suffering chest pains the weekend before Thanksgiving. He assumed it was just anxiety. His son, enrolled in Osseo High School’s EMT class, told him to go to the hospital to check for a possible heart attack. Holien credits that with saving his life: Doctors confirmed that he’d suffered a heart attack.
“I would probably just have continued on. I hadn’t been to a doctor in six years,” Holien said.
Mackenzie Cook, a senior at Spring Lake Park High School, was in her second year in the competition. She and her classmates also took part in the pool rescue scenario.
“That was a big challenge, doing the pool,” she said.
Cook, who is headed to the University of Minnesota Duluth this fall, said she’s pursuing a career in the medical field. Her high school EMT training offered a dose of reality, she said: “Last year, we learned about IVs and I fainted.”
Kim Crane competed in the critical care competition two decades ago. It led to a medical career. Crane works at Hennepin County Medical Center. She watched her son, Park Center senior Alex Winkelman, compete.
“Even if you don’t go into the medical field, it gives you life experience,” Crane said. “It makes you willing to step up in any situation. It gives you the confidence to step up and do the right thing.”
Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804