June 8, 2012
CADIZ - The 31st annual Ohio Valley Mine Rescue Contest concluded in Cadiz Thursday.
"Everything's gone real well," said event Chairman and National Mine Rescue Association Tri-State Post No. 6 President Ron Glasgow. "We're getting very positive feedback from those who competed. I did not hear one team say they did not learn something."
Thirty-three mine rescue teams, 13 first aid teams and 33 benchmen from Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland and Virginia participated in the event. Among the companies represented were Consol Energy Inc., American Energy Corp., Alliance Tunnel Ridge, Hopedale Mining and Ohio Valley Coal Co.
"By federal law, miners are now required to participate in two certified contests every year," Glasgow noted. "These are training sessions as well. It all stems back to the Sago Mine disaster. It was more evident more training was needed.
"We're always learning," he continued. "We're trying new technologies and learning better ways to establish communication. At one point teams were told there was a cave-in behind them and their communication was cut off. Now they had to think about themselves as well as the miners they were going after.
"Some of the teams have never seen anything like this before," he added. "No team got a perfect score, but they all finished the problem that was put in front of them. They were judged on what they did."
Glasgow said three of the four problems they were given this year were developed in Ohio.
"This has never happened before," he said. "It's always been a federal thing. This year 75 percent was done by us. It shows the growing cooperation between agencies. We want better inter-agency cooperation."
He noted the Jerry L. Stewart Ohio Mine Safety Training Center in the Cadiz industrial park is one of only four in the country that can offer indoor training and competition.