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3rd Annual Mine Rescue Competition Held at BSC (w/photo)

  • Created
    Tuesday, May 19 2009
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu
mine_rescue Jewell Smokeless Blue Team
First Place
Annual Mine Rescue Competition 2009

(Bluefield)—The competition was real and the goal was to sharpen life-saving skills.  Ten mine rescue teams participated in the third annual Mine Rescue Competition at Bluefield State College recently.  The daylong activity was created and coordinated by the National Mine Rescue Association Welch Post 1-Smokeeaters and was hosted by the Center for Applied Research & Technology (CART) at Bluefield State College.

This year’s champion was Jewell Smokeless Coal’s “Blue” team, with the Massey 1 and Jewell Smokeless Coal’s “Red” teams tied for second place.  The Consol “Black” team completed the event in third place, and Southern Pocahontas received “Novice Honorable Mention” recognition. Other teams from the Pinnacle mine, Brooks Run, Consol Red, ICG, and Massey 2 also competed in the event.

Mine rescue competitions are designed to sharpen skills and test the knowledge of miners who may one day be called upon to respond to a real mine emergency, according to the event’s director, West Virginia mine safety inspector, region IV, Mike Plumley.  They include a written test, and also require teams to address a simulated problem resulting in trapped miners who must be located and rescued.

“Competition of this kind calls attention to the need for the highest standards in mine safety,” Plumley said.  “Participants can hone their mine rescue skills, improve communication with other team members, and develop working relationships with other teams.”

Each team was told of the scenario, then addressed the challenge by working through a course designed to simulate conditions faced in an actual mine rescue situation.  The field portion of the meet took place at the June Oblinger Shott Sportsplex, adjacent to Dickason Hall on the BSC campus.

"This is the ideal situation right here because you are training, you don't really have somebody missing. But if you follow the guidelines put forth by mine rescue, it will make you a safer rescuer in actual disasters." explains Richard Crockett, team problem designer.

Team captain, Leslie Clutter adds, "You can never really get the full concept of what a mine emergency was unless you were in it. But this gives us an idea of things we need to look for and things that we need to do and then more or less, work as a team."

“CART is pleased to have the opportunity to support this event,” noted Bruce Mutter, CART CEO.  Our involvement in assisting the Mine Rescue Competition is particularly appropriate because of our school’s longstanding commitment to Bluefield State’s Mining Engineering Technology program, participation in robotics-related initiatives, and our more recent collaborations with Fenner Dunlop Conveyor Belting in the Bluestone Regional Business and Technology Center.

The event’s sponsors included Cleveland Cliffs, Heintzmann, Consolidated Coal Company, Jewell Smokeless Coal Corporation, Brooks Run Mining Co, LLC, Southern Pocahontas, Inc., ICG Beckley, LLC., Robert Neal, BSC and CART, Inc.