Hibriten Fire Fighter Academy cadets smoke the competition

LENOIR, NC (May 8, 2017)…Hibriten Firefighter Academy cadets – Captain Preston Hawkins of West Caldwell High School; Captain Brice Bennett, South Caldwell High School; and Firefighter Hunter Vines also from West Caldwell capture three of the Top 5 spots in the North Carolina SkillsUSA firefighting competition.

Preston Hawkins (student volunteer firefighter at Gamewell Fire Department) won the Intermediate Firefighting Competition at the statewide competition held in Greensboro. Brice Bennett (student volunteer firefighter at Granite Falls Fire Department) placed 3rd, and Hunter Vines (student volunteer firefighter at North Catawba Fire Department) placed 4th.

From left: Sam Smith, Hibriten Firefighter Academy Chief and Instructor; Brice Bennett – 3rd place, Preston Hawkins – 1st place, and Hunter Vines – 4th place.

“As their Chief, I am extremely proud of these young men for stepping up and accepting this challenge to compete in the SkillsUSA firefighter competition,” said Hibriten High Academy Chief and Instructor Sam Smith. “To place 1st, 3rd and 4th in the state says volumes about their commitment to their future chosen profession.”

The firefighters had five categories of competition: Rapid Dress, Ropes & Knots and Tool Raise, Hose Drag, Equipment Carry, and Ladder Raise. Participants with the most overall points were declared the Top 5 finishers.

These student winners at the SkillsUSA North Carolina Leadership Conference will be recognized by the Board of Education on Monday, May 8, 6 pm at the Education Center. The public is invited.