CSOM mine safety and health training program spokesperson Janet Torma-Krajewski told ILN the school intended to cover three objectives with its awarded funds, the first being to use the classroom environment to demonstrate computer simulations for practicing mine rescue exercises, a safer alternative for students as they master procedures.
The school also wants to provide effective training to future industry workers on hazard identification and decision-making, in a way that any errors made can be easily corrected and not cause harm to the worker or others. Lastly, CSOM will demonstrate rescue activity coordination and control procedures with an incident command center.
As part of these plans, the school will conduct two-day training that will combine computer-based simulation of mine rescue exercises with field activities at the Edgar Experimental Mine, a nearby facility in Idaho Springs that CSOM uses for research and training.
While the technological simulations are designed to be a functional training tool for students, CSOM has planned many enhancements for future software versions that it hopes will come to fruition with additional funding.
“Ten members of the 911th US Army Technical Rescue Engineer Company participated this past summer in underground search and rescue training that included completing the computer simulations,” Torma-Krajewski said of the school’s recent activities.
“Since 2003, approximately 100 members of this same company have completed rescue exercises at the Edgar Experimental Mine.”
As many co-awardees of the grant have noted, Torma-Krajewski said the Brookwood-Sago grant would go a long way in improving both miner safety and training quality.
“Overall, we believe the training provided as part of this grant will address the need of mine rescue teams and mine management to understand how to utilize an incident command center structure and to make effective decisions when responding to mine emergencies,” she said, adding that the school is seeking several interested rescue crews to participate in its training courses.