Eastern Associated tops at rescue competition

WHARTON, West Virginia-based Eastern Associated Coal took first place at the Ohio Valley Mine Rescue Contest, held June 14-16 in St Clairsville, Ohio. More than 20 teams from seven different states competed in the 24th annual event.

Donna Schmidt

Taking second place was Cumberland Coal Resources of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and Brookwood, Alabama-based Jim Walter Resources earned the third place spot.

The competition, one of the US’s largest, pits mine teams against one another for the fastest time as well as their ability to adhere to procedures while performing tasks such as battling a mine fire, containing underground flood situations, or even rescuing a fellow worker from entrapment.

“These contests test the skills of mine rescue teams in a simulated mine emergency environment,” said mine safety and health assistant secretary David Dye. “Naturally, we hope those skills will never be needed, but their fellow miners can feel confident knowing that, even in competition, mine rescue team members hold themselves to the highest standards.”

This year’s battle included three main events: first aid, field, and benchman (inspection and quick repair of mine equipment).

Consol PA Coal’s Bailey Mine from Wind Ridge, Pennsylvania, and Consolidation Coal’s Shoemaker Mine of Dallas, West Virginia, rounded out the top five places.