2014 Ohio Valley Mine Rescue Contest

Mine rescuers converge on Marshall County
June 5, 2014

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. -- Hundreds of coal miners from several states are in Marshall County this week for a mine rescue contest.

It's serious business because these are the people at the forefront when coal mine disasters happen.  This is the first time this competition has been held in Marshall County, and these miners are sharpening their-life saving skills.

Rescuers are put in mock situations under similar conditions they would find underground in a disaster or fire to test competency and ability.  In its 33rd year, it's a three-day event, which is put on by the National Mine Rescue Association Tri-State Post No. 6.

"These teams are trained to go into mine disasters," Mine Rescue Association's Bob Talbert said.  "If we have a fire or an explosion, they are there to save people's lives.

Talbert said the miners may be acting out a rescue today, but it's a serious drill to them because they have been in real disasters and they know the importance of being prepared.

"They have been under the gun and they have fought the fires they have brought out live people and deceased they are a special breed of people here," he said.

The event wraps up Thursday with a banquet.

The teams with the least amount of mistakes-- in the quickest time-- will be awarded at that events.