Forty-two regional mine rescue teams will get a chance to demonstrate their disaster preparedness skills during a mock mine emergency at the 2010 National Mine Rescue Association Post 5 & West Virginia State Mine Rescue Contest at Mylan Park. The two-day event begins at Mylan’s mine rescue field at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18. Competitions include mine rescue, bench and pre-shift and first aid.

Sponsors include the WVU Mining Extension Department, NMRA Post 5, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration District 3 and the West Virginia office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training.

The teams evaluate mock disaster situations, safely explore all areas near the fresh–air base, prepare a record of conditions, map areas and rescue surviving miners in a simulated underground mine emergency.

Bench contest teams are led by a benchman who receives a self-contained breathing apparatus, worn by rescue team members to allow them to breathe safely in a contaminated air environment. The benchman tests the apparatus to identify predetermined deficiencies, corrects any problems and ensures the device is ready to take underground.

In the pre-shift contest, individuals compete to show the most proficiency in pre-shift examination of coal mines.

The forty-two rescue teams hail from West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Alabama coal companies. Individual coal companies send one or more teams to compete. While this event evokes friendly competition, officials stress that in actual mine disaster, these teams work together.

Rescue teams will be assigned the same emergency problem to solve. Teams are judged according to their procedures and speed. The simulated emergencies may involve missing miners, explosions, mine fires, roof collapse or a mine being inundated with water. Contestants evaluate the situation and then form a plan of action.



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Jim Dean
Director of Extension and Outreach
College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
(304) 293-4211 or (304) 276-0591