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Mine Rescue Competition Returns To BSC For Eighth Year

  • Created
    Wednesday, April 30 2014
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

mine rescue(Bluefield)—The "best of the best" in mine rescue will meet in competition at Bluefield State College on May 31 when the Center for Applied Research and Technology (CART) joins with Welch Post No. 1 of the National Mine Rescue Association, "the Smoke Eaters," to sponsor and host the eighth annual event.

Mine Rescue Teams from throughout the region compete in the annual yearly exercise to learn from one another and to hone critical skills that will be put to the test when disaster strikes. 

"The miners who participate on these rescue teams are the best of the best at what they do," said Mike Plumley, competition director. "They come here to share their experience and learn best practices that may someday save lives." 

A BSC graduate, Plumley holds a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering technology (MIET) as well as an MBA from Marshall University. He was a member of the 2005 national championship-winning Pinnacle Mine rescue team and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member for the BSC MIET Program and a senior safety and loss control specialist for BrickStreet Insurance.


The teams will face a complex challenge designed to prepare them for emergency situations, according to problem designer Richard Crockett, trainer for the Pinnacle rescue team that won the 2013 National Mine Rescue Competition in Columbus, Ohio. "It will be a timed training course focused on finding missing miners in the types of hazardous conditions that would likely be encountered underground," Crockett explained. "The exercise will help the teams become safer rescuers."

Teams currently registered to participate in this year's event include Mountain Laurel Green from Mountain Laurel Coal, Leer Mine White from ACI Tygart Valley/Leer Mine, Sentinel Mine Blue from Arch Coal Sentinel Complex, Tri-State A and Tri-State B from Tri-State Coal Operators, Buchanan Red and Buchanan Black from Consol Buchanan Mining Co., Pinnacle Blue and Pinnacle White from Cliffs Natural Resources.