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DOL/MSHA News Release
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: (202) 693-9423

Released Monday, June 17, 2002

News Release


Mine Rescuers Test Their Skills in Mock Mine Emergency

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio -- Far beneath the earth's surface where miners extract coal, the working environment can change in an instant. In the case of a fire, roof collapse or explosion, specially trained teams of rescuers may make the difference between life and death. On June 19 and 20, 2002, that technical expertise will be put to the test at the Ohio Valley Mine Rescue, First Aid and Bench Contest, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration and held at the Belmont County Fairgrounds.

"We've seen many examples of heroic efforts in this country over the past year -- the rescue and recovery at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and the Jim Walter #5 Mine in Alabama," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Thousands of people throughout the mining community work hard every day to prevent another mine emergency. But if one occurs, the teams participating in the competition have selflessly dedicated themselves to respond."

Teams from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois and Alabama will compete in the two-day contest. (List of mine rescue teams follows.)

Mine rescue competitions test the knowledge of highly trained teams of miners who have studied and practiced to respond to a mine emergency. Teams must solve a hypothetical mine emergency problem while judges rate them on their adherence to mine rescue procedures and how quickly they complete specific tasks. In the bench contest, miners who maintain rescue equipment must thoroughly inspect breathing devices and correct defects as quickly as possible. In the first aid contest, emergency medical technicians tackle real-life scenarios.

Mine rescue training began in the United States in 1910. The training efforts evolved into local and regional competitions leading up to the national contest.

Schedule of Events June 19 - 8 a.m., Mine Rescue begins
June 20 - 8 a.m., Bench begins; 10 a.m. First Aid begins

Participating Mine Rescue Teams

ALABAMA
Jim Walter Resources, Inc., #4 Mine Team
U.S. Steel Mining Co., LLC, Oak Grove Team

ILLINOIS
White County Coal LLC, Pattiki Team KENTUCKY
Consol of Kentucky, Inc., Consol of Kentucky Team
Webster County Coal LLC, Dotiki Team
PENNSYLVANIA
Consolidation Coal Co., Bailey Team
Consolidation Coal Co., Dilworth Team
Consolidation Coal Co., Enlow Fork Team
Eighty Four Mining Company, Eight Four Team
RAG Cumberland Resources LP, Cumberland Team
RAG Emerald Resources LP, Emerald No. 1 Team

VIRGINIA
Consol Energy Inc., Buchanan No. 1 Team

WEST VIRGINIA
Consolidation Coal Co., Blacksville No. 2 Team
Consolidation Coal Co., Shoemaker Team
Eastern Associated Coal Corp., Southern Appalachia Team
Eastern Associated Coal Corp., Federal No. 2 Team
Massey Energy, Elk Run Team
U.S. Steel Mining Co., LLC, Pinnacle Team