National Coal Mining Rescue Teams Compete to Showcase Safety Skills

Columbus, Ohio – Leading experts from the nation’s coal mining community will have their skills put to the test at the 2013 National Coal Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Pre-Shift Competition being held Sept. 9-12 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The competition is sponsored by the National Mining Association (NMA) and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration.

In its 101st year, the mine rescue competition will feature 87 teams representing 12 states. The four-day competition includes team and individual competitions, as well as exhibits from companies and suppliers of coal mining equipment and services. Started in 1910 by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, it is the largest national competition of its kind.

“The dedication and preparation of our industry’s emergency responders is unequaled, and that exemplary spirit is admired throughout the mining community,” NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn said. “Our industry is committed to ensuring that state-of-the-art mine rescue technology and training are available to our mine rescue teams when and where they are needed.”

Quinn will be recognizing competition winners at a Sept. 12 awards ceremony that officially concludes the mining rescue competition. Also taking part in the ceremony will be Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

Along with the competition, 40 exhibits of equipment and services essential to mining safety and rescue operations will be on display during the event and NMA will feature its CORESafety® initiative – a systems approach to mine safety launched in 2011with a goal of eliminating fatalities and reducing injuries by half within five years. NMA members participating in CORESafety include companies employing more than 125,000 miners. NMA member Alpha Natural Resources will showcase its recently launched safety training center, the Running Right Leadership Academy. A complete list of exhibitors is here.

The mine rescue competitions include a first-aid contest, a bench contest and varied skills competitions that involve hypothetical emergency situations and test abilities in handling specialty safety and rescue equipment. For example, one event is a bench contest, in which individuals who maintain rescue equipment must thoroughly inspect breathing devices that have been tampered with and correct defects quickly and thoroughly. In a pre-shift competition, miners examine the mine layout area before their work shift to identify and eliminate any existing hazards.

Click here for the schedule of events.