National MR competition returns to OH for centennial

MORE than 100 teams show their skills this week at the National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Preshift competition, which is marking 100 years and six decades since last convening in Columbus, Ohio.
National MR competition returns to OH for centennial National MR competition returns to OH for centennial National MR competition returns to OH for centennial National MR competition returns to OH for centennial National MR competition returns to OH for centennial

 

Donna Schmidt

The biennial event hosted by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration will take over the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, through October 6 and will feature crews from 13 states including Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The contest was last in Ohio’s capital city in 1951.

“The critical importance of mine rescue teams was underscored with last year’s tragedy at Upper Big Branch Mine,” assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health Joseph Main said.

“Having been at the scene of too many mining accidents, I know firsthand the need for well-trained and experienced mine rescue teams. I have the highest respect for these men and women, and am deeply grateful for their sacrifices.”

A first aid and bench competition was set for October 3 and those events will be followed by a mine rescue field competition to be held October 4 and 5 as well as a pre-shift examination competition October 6.

“In the field competition, teams must solve a hypothetical mine emergency problem while judges rate them on how well they adhere to mine rescue procedures and how quickly they complete specific tasks,” the agency said.

In the bench contest, individuals who maintain rescue equipment must thoroughly inspect breathing devices and quickly correct defects and in the first-aid portion, participants must demonstrate correct care for injured workers.

Miners will examine a mine layout area in the pre-shift competition, identifying and eliminating existing hazards prior to the start of the hypothetical “shift”

The national competition will close with an awards banquet.

The first National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Preshift competition was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1911 and was attended by 15,000 including then-US president William Taft.

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