The competition was co-sponsored by the Virginia Mining Association, Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals & Energy and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Mine rescue teams competed to conduct rescue and recovery operations in a staged mine disaster scenario. Team members wear full mine rescue gear to determine mine conditions, construct ventilation controls and locate and extract accident victims.
Teams are judged on thoroughness in recording mine conditions on a map as they advance into a mock mine and their ability to identify and respond to hazards that could endanger the team or trapped miners.
“Mine rescue contests present an excellent opportunity for rescue teams to practice their skills in a competitive environment, working against the clock,” said DMME Director Conrad Spangler. “Practice and dedication make the difference if and when these teams are called out in an emergency to help other miners.”
Jewell Smokeless Coal Corp.’s Black Team, presented the Governor’s Cup for earning top honors, include team captain Nick Osborne, Jason Stanley, Sidney Crabtree, William Altizer, Greg Kennedy, Todd Ward and alternate Keith Sisk.
The second place team was Dickenson-Russell Coal Corp.’s A-Team consisting of Jerry Stanley, Donald Duncan, John Tompa, Steve Linkous, Billy Weaver, Dennis Honaker and alternates Franklin Moore, Lannie Hart and George Boardwine.
Placing third was Lone Mountain Processing Inc.’s Lone Mountain Team consisting of Mike Bennett, Joe Eldridge, Jimmy Rouse, John Rutherford, Jude Johnson, Jody Napier and alternates Dustin Robinson and Michael Sloan.
Other teams participating in the competition included CONSOL Energy’s Black and Red teams, Alpha Natural Resources, Southern Kentucky Mine Rescue, Jewell Smokeless Coal Corp.’s Orange Squad, Maxxim Shared Services Blue and Gray teams, TECO Coal Corp.’s Blue and Gray teams, Wellmore Coal Co.’s Red and Gray teams, and Virginia Small Operator Mine Rescue Gold and Silver teams.