The event hosted by the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Mining Institute will gather officials from the Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and Alpha Natural Resources’ mine rescue Dutch Shepherd.
The UK department of mining engineering said the purpose of the event is to simulate an actual underground mine disaster, giving rescue teams a change to stay sharp in the event of an actual emergency.
Fifty-seven mine rescue teams from 10 states will compete.
Visitors to the event are encouraged to meet 29-month-old Ginny who was introduced by Alpha Natural Resources in June as the newest member of the miner’s safety arsenal.
Ginny is capable of a six-foot vertical jump and is trained to search for missing, trapped, injured or unresponsive humans in unstable conditions or confined spaces.
She has been outfitted with a specially designed protective vest with an infrared camera and an atmospheric gas detector to protect her when working in the field and underground.
The contest which runs through Friday is being held at the Lexington Convention Center Heritage Hall and begins at 8am each day.