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MSHA News Release No. 2001-0622
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: (703) 235-1452

Released Friday, June 22, 2001

Ohio Valley Mine Rescue Contest Winners
Rescue Teams from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois Take Top Honors

Eastern Associated Coal Corporation's Southern Appalachia Team from Twilight, W.Va., was the winner in this year's Ohio Valley Mine Rescue, First Aid and Bench Contest held in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Consol PA Coal Company's Bailey Mine from Graysville, Pa., and American Coal Company's Galatia Team from Harrisburg, Ill., placed second and third, respectively.

In the first aid competition, Lodestar Energy, Inc.'s Baker Team of Clay, Ky., finished first, followed by U.S. Steel Mining Company's Pinnacle Team of Pineville, W.Va., and Eastern Associated Coal Corporation's Southern Appalachia Team.

In the bench competition, American Coal Company's Galatia Team finished first, followed by Consol's Dilworth Team from Rices Landing, Penn., and Eastern Associated Coal Corporation's Southern Appalachia Team.

"My congratulations to this year's winners and all the participating teams," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "In a real sense, all of you are winners. You participated in rigorous, physically demanding and mentally challenging exercises that may one day benefit your fellow miners. We hope you never have to call upon these skills. Your unselfishness and commitment to mine safety make you an example to us all. "

Mine rescue competitions are designed to test the knowledge of miners who might be called upon to respond to a real mine emergency. The contest requires six-member teams to solve a hypothetical mine emergency problem -- such as a fire, explosion or cave-in --while judges rate them on their adherence to mine rescue procedures and how quickly they complete specific tasks.

In the bench contest, miners must thoroughly inspect breathing devices that have been purposely tampered with and correct those defects as quickly as possible. In the first aid competition, participants must demonstrate the correct method of caring for an injured miner according to the fundamentals of first aid.

Twenty-two teams from seven states participated in the two-day event. This contest is second only in size to the national coal mine rescue contest, to be held in Louisville, Ky., in September.