National mine rescue event attracts impressive crowd

THE centennial anniversary gathering of the National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench, and Preshift Contest, which brought more than 100 teams together last week in Columbus, Ohio, has closed with several teams and individuals taking home top awards.
National mine rescue event attracts impressive crowd National mine rescue event attracts impressive crowd National mine rescue event attracts impressive crowd National mine rescue event attracts impressive crowd National mine rescue event attracts impressive crowd

Rescuers competing at the 2011 National Mine Rescue Competition in Ohio October 3, 2011.

Donna Schmidt

Winning day one of the mine rescue contest portion was Alliance Coal’s Dotiki team from Kentucky, with Alpha Natural Resources’ Black Mountain crew and Teco Coal’s Blue team – both also from Kentucky – taking second and third place respectively.

Patriot Coal’s Magnum team from West Virginia was first in the second day of mine rescue. Two Virginia crews, Jewell Smokeless Coal’s Red team and Consol Energy’s Buchanan, took second and third.

Overall in the mine rescue portion, the high honor went to Alpha’s Black Mountain. Taking second and third were Arch Coal’s Cumberland River Blue Team and Patriot Coal’s Magnum crew.

While many of the hundreds of spectators converged upon the Columbus Convention Center for the mine rescue portion, many were anxious to see those competing for the first aid, combination team, bench and pre-shift segments of the contest event.

In first aid, nearly all major coalfields were represented, with Teco Coal’s team (captain David Wilder) from Kentucky taking first, Walter Energy’s Blue Creek crew from Alabama (captain Joe Tingle) taking second and Patriot Coal’s Magnum group from West Virginia taking third.

The Bench Biopak 240R and 240S contests each brought out many of the industry’s best, and two Kentucky groups were victorious. Cody Robinson of Gibson County Coal’s Rescue Rhinos was first in the former and Dwight Baker of Patriot Coal’s Bluegrass team placed first in the latter.

In the Bench BG4 contests, the top three included both eastern and western coalfield competitors.

Daniel Bragg of Kingston Resources’ Kingston White group in West Virginia was gold, while the silver and bronze places were earned by John Helmick of Cumberland Coal’s JC crew from Pennsylvania and Zack Boylen of Bridger Coal’s Blue team from Wyoming.

In the pre-shift contest which attracted 110 participants, Arch Coal’s Lone Mountain Processing team (David Shackleford) from Virginia earned the best time. Following closely behind were McElroy’s Blue crew from West Virginia (Kelvin Jolly) and Kentucky Coal Academy’s MCC team (Chris Williams) of Kentucky.

Finally, Patriot Coal’s Magnum team placed yet again in the combination segment. In second and third place were Walter Energy’s JWR Blue Creek and Patriot Coal’s Highland No. 9, respectively.

Organization for the next biennial National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench, and Preshift Contest in 2013 has already begun. Teams will return to Columbus once again to take part in their respective competitions.

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