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MSHA News Release No. 2000-0721
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Amy Louviere, Rodney Brown or Kathy Snyder
Phone: (703) 235-1452 

 Released Friday, July 21, 2000

Rescue Teams from Wyoming, New Mexico Take Top Honors in National/International Mine Rescue Contest

  IThe Big Island Mine's OCI "Blue Team" from Green River, Wyo., was the national winner in the 2000 National and International Mine Rescue Contest held this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. Westinghouse's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) "Blue Team" from Carlsbad, N.M., finished second, and the FMC Mine's "Red Team," also from Green River, rounded out the top three.

In the international competition, Poland's mine rescue team finished first, followed by the United States and Peru. This is only the second year of international competition. The contest is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administrat (MSHA).

> Mine rescue competitions are designed to test the knowledger of miners who might be called upon to respond to a real mine emergency. The contest requires six-member teams to solve a hypothetical mine emergency problem -- such as a fire, explosion or cave-in --while judges rate them on their adherence to mine rescue procedures and how quickly they complete specific tasks.

> Mine rescue training began in the United States in 1910 and evolved into local and regional competitions one year later.

Also during Thursday's awards ceremony, four veterans of mine rescue were inducted into the Mine Rescue Hall of Fame. For details about the inductees and a complete rundown of contest winners, click on MSHA's web site at www.msha.gov.