US mine rescue competition season shaping up

PLANS for the 2008 season of mine rescue competitions across the nation's coal-rich regions are taking shape with a large group of coal-related events on the schedule with the US Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Donna Schmidt
US mine rescue competition season shaping up

At present, the list of events reflects four contests in May, five in June, six in August and three in September. The season's next event will be May 9 and 10, when the Smokeaters Post 2 contest will be held in Lexington, Kentucky.

The state of Alabama will follow that up with its mine rescue, first aid, bench and pre-shift event competition May 13 to 16 in Birmingham.

Beckley, West Virginia will hold its event simultaneously, with the WV Alliance's smoke, firefighting, first aid and mine rescue contest May 21–23.

Wrapping up the month of May will be the Western Kentucky Mining Institute; its Safety Days will include pre-shift, first aid, bench and mine rescue.

Kicking off the busy June calendar will be an event in Vincennes, Indiana, where the state's mine rescue, Biopak bench and pre-shift competition will be held June 4 and 5.

The following day, Cedar Bluff, Virginia will play host to the Governor's Cup event that is scheduled to include both mine rescue and pre-shift divisions.

The itinerary moves west on June 10, where the Colorado Coal Association will hold its event for two days in Paonia. First aid and mine rescue will be offered, as well as pre-shift and both BG-4 and Biopak bench.

The balance of June's events will be held in the eastern US. The Tri-State Post 6 Ohio Valley mine rescue competitions will be held in St Clairsville, Ohio on June 11 and 12; and the following week, from June 17 to 19, the Kentucky River Mine Rescue event is scheduled for Hazard.

No contests have been scheduled for July as of press time, but August will see the most events of any other month in the competition season, beginning with the Rocky Mountain Association's contest on August 5–7 in Price, Utah.

During the same days in Blacksburg, Virginia, the Virginia Mining Institute will host its Safety Days with first aid, mine rescue, bench and pre-shift events.

August 13 and 14 in Morgantown, West Virginia, industry teams will gather for the 11th annual Post 5 competition to include mine rescue, bench and pre-shift.

During the same time period, teams will also be gathering in Pikeville, Kentucky for the Eastern Kentucky mine safety and training contest.

One week later, teams will organise to compete in the Pennsylvania state competition to be held in Carmichaels on August 20–21.

On August 25, Beckley, West Virginia will once again play host for a four-day event, the Southern West Virginia Mine Rescue Association's competition.

Finally, September will take teams across the nation with Lexington, Kentucky being the first host venue from September 3 to 5 for the Kentucky Mining Institute's annual event.

The Illinois Mine Rescue and Bench competition will be held September 8–10 in Springfield; and Farmington, New Mexico will be the last stop on the competition schedule with an event on September 16–18.

MSHA mine rescue training this week

MSHA is holding a Coal Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Pre-shift Rules Training workshop for 2008 this week in West Virginia, finishing up Friday.

The workshop is being held at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, and the agency said attendees can obtain interpretations of rules from chief and assistant chief judges.

The conference is being audio-conferenced to several other locations, including Birmingham, Alabama; Grand Junction, Colorado; western Kentucky; and Price, Utah. It will begin at 9am local time and wrap at approximately 5pm.

Some included topics:

Mine rescue rules

New regulations

Pre-shift and first aid rules

Problem design for first aid, bench and pre-shift

For more information on the competition schedule or the training opportunity, visit the MSHA website.


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