Alpha mines take home national rescue honors

TWO Alpha Natural Resources mine rescue teams from West Virginia have earned top honors in the recent Nationwide Mine Rescue Skills competition held in Pennsylvania.
Alpha mines take home national rescue honors Alpha mines take home national rescue honors Alpha mines take home national rescue honors Alpha mines take home national rescue honors Alpha mines take home national rescue honors

Underground at an Alpha mine. Courtesy Alpha Natural Resources.

Donna Schmidt

The company’s Blue team from Rockspring Development, operator of the Rockspring mine near East Lynn, and the White team from Kingston Mining, operator of the Kingston complex in Fayette County, were both winners in their respective divisions at the inaugural event on October 5-6.

The contest, hosted by the Mining Technology and Training Center in Ruff Creek, included 15 of Alpha’s mine rescue crews.

The Kingston White team also won first place in the first aid competition for Division 1, which included teams with less than three years experience.

Both the Blue team and the White team had participated in the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s regional competition in May, earning spots in the nationwide contest.

"We are very pleased that the Rockspring and Kingston teams were recognized and rewarded for their superior performance at the competition,” Alpha Northern West Virginia business unit head Mark Schuerger said.

“Each member of these teams has trained hard to be ready to excel should the team be called upon to deploy for a rescue situation.

“Experience has taught us that having teams compete in mine rescue contests is an efficient way to conduct advanced readiness training."

Alpha’s Cumberland Coal team Cumberland-JC placed second in the Division 2 mine rescue skills portion of the contest, and the Blue team of Emerald Coal took home top honors in the first aid contest for Division 2.

“[The teams’] efforts really highlight our organization's excellent safety culture and performance,” Alpha president Kurt Kost said.

“We are dedicated to the relentless pursuit of an injury-free workplace, and the excellent performance of the teams in several competitions this year demonstrates our affiliates' preparedness and Running Right commitment.”