National Metal and Nonmetal Mine Rescue contest winners named

By |  August 12, 2014

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the winners of the 2014 National Metal and Nonmetal Mine Rescue contest, a four-day event held Aug. 4-7 in Lexington, Ky., that featured 41 teams from 18 states.

The Central Kentucky Mine Rescue Association, the Kentucky Crushed Stone Association and Carmeuse Lime & Stone hosted the competition. MSHA provided the field, written and technical problems, and judged contestants to determine the winners.

Doe Run Co.’s “Maroon Team” from Viburnum, Mo., was declared the winner, and FMC Minerals’“Red Team,” Green River, Wyo., and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s “WIPP Red Team,” Carlsbad, N.M., rounded out the top three. In the field competition, five-member teams were required to search and account for all missing miners following standard mine rescue procedures.

Finishing first place in the first-aid competition was Newmont Mining Corp.’s “Carlin Team,” Elko, Nev. In this contest, teams were required to be prepared to deal with medical emergency techniques, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and control of bleeding, as well as the treatment of physical shock, wounds, burns and musculoskeletal injuries.

In the technician team competition, the winner was OCI Wyoming LLC’s “Blue Team,” Green River, Wyo. The two-man technician team had to ensure that multi-gas and self-contained breathing apparatuses are in proper working condition.

Vulcan Materials Co.’s “Vulcan Blue Team,” Bartlett, Ill., won the team trainer competition, which consisted of multiple-choice and true-false questions.

The “WIPP Red Team” finished first in the overall standings.

Rescue contests provide a venue for teams to hone their skills in a competitive environment, the Department of Labor says, as mine rescue teams may be required to rescue trapped, injured or missing miners during a mine emergency, such as a fire, explosion or roof collapse.

“Mine rescuers are truly a special breed of people,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “These brave, selfless individuals are called up at a moment’s notice to travel miles underground, often in extreme conditions. We owe them our gratitude and support, and the best training available for these high-risk missions.”

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