Coal mine rescue teams may be tapped to battle mine fires, contain underground floods and rescue their colleagues trapped beneath layers of rock following an explosion. They undergo rigorous training to develop skills they hope they will never need to use.
Those skills were put to the test during a four-day competition at the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center.
Eighty-seven teams from 13 states competed in mine rescue and first aid categories, while 800 individuals competed in bench and pre-shift caregories. The bi-annual competition is sponsored by the National Mining Association and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The contest consists of several events. In the field competition, teams must solve a hypothetical mine emergency problem while judges rate them on how well they adhere to mine rescue procedures and how quickly they complete specific tasks. Other events include a bench contest, in which individuals who maintain rescue equipment must thoroughly inspect breathing devices that have been tampered with and correct defects quickly. In the first aid contest, participants must demonstrate the correct method of caring for an injured miner. In the pre-shift competition, miners examine the mine layout area before their work shift to identify and eliminate existing hazards.
Ty Odle, competing with the Mountain Coal Company West Elk Red Team, took top honors in the Bench Biopak 240S competition. Teammate Lorenzo Campos placed fifth.
State winners were Ty Odle, Biopak 240S competition, and Mountain Coal Company/West Elk Red Team in mine rescue competition.blog comments powered by Disqus