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DOL News Release No. 01-313
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: (703) 235-1452

Released Monday, September 17, 2001

National Mine Rescue Contest brings Mine Rescue Teams to Louisville, Ky.

WASHINGTON- Far beneath the earth's surface where miners extract coal, the working environment can change in an instant. In case of a fire, roof collapse or explosion, specially trained teams of rescuers may make the difference between life and death. From Sept. 17 through Sept. 21, coal mine rescue teams from around the country will take part in the 2001 National Mine Rescue, First Aid and Bench Contest at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.

"We have all admired the selfless dedication of the responders in last Tuesday's tragedies," said Dave Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "In an underground coal mine emergency, the type of specialized teams now gathered in Louisville would be the ones to respond. In this contest, mine rescuers put the finishing touches on their preparedness as they test their skills against each other. Even as the recovery efforts go on in New York and Washington, D.C., these teams are working to keep their specialized skills sharp to respond to a different type of emergency."

Mine rescue competitions test the knowledge of highly trained teams of miners who have studied and practiced to respond to a mine emergency. Six-member teams must solve a hypothetical mine emergency problem while judges rate them on their adherence to mine rescue procedures and how quickly they complete specific tasks.

In other phases of the competition, benchmen - individuals who maintain rescue equipment - must thoroughly inspect breathing devices and correct defects as quickly as possible. In the first aid contest, emergency medical technicians tackle real-life scenarios.

Mine rescue training began in the United States in 1910. The training efforts evolved into local and regional competitions leading up to the national contest.

2001 National Mine Rescue, First Aid and Bench Contest, Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, Louisville, Ky. Schedule of Events and Participants

Monday, Sept. 17
Bench competition

Tuesday, Sept. 18 and Wednesday, Sept. 19
Preliminary mine rescue competition

Thursday, Sept. 20
Finals -- mine rescue competition

Friday, Sept. 21
First aid competition
Awards banquet

Bevill State Community College,State of Alabama Teams #1 and #2 (Sumiton)
Drummond Company, Inc., Shoal Creek Team (Jasper)
Jim Walter Resources, Inc.. #4, #5 and #7 Team (Brookwood)
The Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Company, North River #1 MineTeam (Berry)
U.S. Steel Mining Company, LLC, Oak Grove Team (Adger)

Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., Deserado Black Team (Rangely)
RAG-Twentymile Coal Company, Twentymile Team. (Oak Creek)

Consolidation Coal Company, Rend Lake Mine Team (Sesser)
IL Dept. Of Natural Resources - Office of Mines & Minerals, Gold Team (Benton)
Monterey Coal Company, Pathfinders Team (Carlinville)
The American Coal Company, Galatia Mine Rescue Team (Harrisburg)
Turris Coal Company, Turris Team (Williamsville)
White County Coal, LLC, Pattiki Team (Carmi)

Indiana Bureau of Mines, Indiana State Team (Vincennes)

Consol of Ky., Inc., Consol of Ky., Inc. Team (Mousie)
Lodestar Energy, Inc.,Baker Team (Clay)
Peabody Coal Company, Camp Complex Team (Morganfield)
Webster County Coal, LLC, Dotiki Team (Providence)

Southern Ohio Coal Company, Meigs Division Team (Wilkesville)

Consol Energy., Dilworth Team (Rces Landing)
Consol PA Coal Company, Bailey Team (Graysville)
Consol PA Coal Company, Enlow Fork TeamWest (Finley)
RAG Cumberland Resources, LP, Cumberland Team (Waynesburg)
RAG Emerald Resources LP, RAG Emerald Mine Team (Waynesburg)
Energy West Mining, Silver Team (Huntington)

Consolidation Coal Company, Buchanan #1 Mine Rescue Team (Mavisdale)
Island Creek Coal Company, Island Creek Consol Mine Rescue Team (Mavisdale)
Jewell Smokeless Coal Corporation, "A" Team (Vansant)
Lone Mountain Processing, Lone Mountain Team (St. Charles)

Consol, Blacksville No. 2 Mine Team (Wana)
Consolidation Coal Company, Shoemaker Mine Team (Dallas)
Eastern Associated Coal Corporation, Federal No. 2 Team (Fairview)
Eastern Associated Coal Corporation, Southern Appalachia Team (Twilight)
Massey Energy, Elk Run Team (Sylvester)
Mingo Logan Coal Company, Mountaineer Mine Team (Wharncliffe)
U.S. Steel Mining Company, LLC, Pinnacle Team (Pineville)

For complete coverage, visit the 2001 Mine Rescue Contest pages on the MSHA web site.