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


Released Monday, August 26, 2002


News Release

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


RENO, Nev. - FMC Westvaco Mine's "FMC 1" team from Green River, Wyo., was the national winner in the 2002 National and International Mine Rescue Contest held last week at the Reno/Sparks Convention Authority. Westinghouse Tru-Solutions Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's (WIPP) "Silver Team" from Carlsbad, N.M., finished second, and WIPP's "Blue Team" rounded out the top three.

In the international competition, the USA-Southwestern Wyoming Mutual Aid Association team from Green River, Wyo., finished first, followed by Poland's "White Eagle" team and the team representing Doe Run Peru Cobriza Mine from Lima, Peru. The contest is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

"There are very few professions that share the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood that exist in mine rescue," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Dave D. Lauriski in a speech at the contest awards banquet. "Team members learn to rely on and support each other, because we never know when we will need the skills and expertise of our fellow mine rescuers.

"Just like in southwestern Pennsylvania," he added, referring to last month's successful rescue of nine coal miners who spent three days trapped underground at the Quecreek #1 Mine in Somerset County.

Mine rescue competitions are designed to test the knowledge 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. Other events included a first aid contest, as well as apparatus and bench competitions.

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 complete contest results, visit MSHA's web site at www.msha.gov.

2002 National Metal/Nonmetal Mine Rescue Contest Home Page