Patriot rescue teams fare well in WV competition

PATRIOT Coal’s five mine rescue teams all fared well at a large competition held recently in Appalachia, taking home 70% of the awards given.

Donna Schmidt

Federal No. 2 mine rescue team took Grand Champion at the Southern West Virginia Mine Rescue Contest in Beckley, West Virginia. Patriot’s Southern Appalachia team won third place in the same event.

Also, the company’s crews earned first place awards in eight of the event’s nine contests, which included mine rescue, first aid and pre-shift.

Patriot president and chief executive officer Richard Whiting said the achievement was particularly important as teams from across the nation prepared for next month’s National Mine Rescue Championship in Ohio.

“Considering there were nearly 50 mine rescue teams from nine states that participated in this event, our teams achieved excellent results,” he said.

“Maintaining top-tier mine rescue teams is a key component of our comprehensive safety program.”

Patriot’s operations are performing well in terms of safety this year as well; in July it announced that three of its mines received prestigious statewide mining awards from the Joseph A Holmes Safety Association.

The company’s Rivers Edge operation, part of the Wells complex in southern West Virginia, received the award during the group’s annual State Council Meeting in Roanoke earlier this year.

Other Patriot entities receiving an award were the Rocklick reclamation crew and the team from the Rocklick Matewan tunnel operation.

In all, Patriot Coal controls 14 active mining complexes in the Appalachian and Illinois Basin regions making up approximately 1.9 billion tons of proved and probable coal reserves.

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