National Mine Rescue Contest to Test Mine Emergency Response Skills

Media Advisory Posted: [September 7, 2017]

BECKLEY, WV – More than 60 teams representing coal mines around the country will participate in the 2017 National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench, and Preshift Competition, Sept. 11-14, 2017, at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley.

Mine rescue contests help prepare teams of specially trained first responders to operate effectively in a real mine emergency. Co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Holmes Mine Rescue Association, the competition gauges the readiness of teams and their individual members – sharpening skills and testing individual knowledge in a series of simulated emergency scenarios, such as a mine fire, explosion, or roof collapse.

In the field competition, teams must navigate through a simulated mine emergency as judges rate them on how well they adhere to mine rescue procedures, and how quickly they complete specific tasks. In the first aid contest, emergency medical technicians tackle real-life scenarios. In the bench contest, individuals who maintain rescue equipment must inspect breathing devices thoroughly and correct all defects quickly. Finally, in the preshift competition, a miner must accurately examine the mine layout area before the next work shift to identify and eliminate existing hazards.

WHO:            Mine Safety and Health Administration
                      Holmes Mine Rescue Association                            

WHAT:          2017 National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench, and Preshift Competition

WHEN:          Monday, Sept. 11:                  Bench and first aid competition
                      Tuesday, Sept. 12:                  Mine rescue team field competition
                      Wednesday, Sept. 13:             Mine rescue team field competition
                      Thursday, Sept. 14:                Preshift competition

                      Each day’s event starts at 8:00 a.m. EDT.

WHERE:       National Mine Health and Safety Academy
                      1301 Airport Rd.
                      Beckley, WV  25813-9426

Editor’s Note: Members of the media should RSVP to and

# # #

Media Contacts:

Amanda Kraft, 202-693-4664,
Amy Louviere, 202-693-9423,
Release Number: 17-1237-NAT