October 30 marks the annual Mine Rescue Day, which recognizes the dedication of mine rescue teams who volunteer to save their fellow miners in the event of an emergency. This October, mine rescue teams from across the U.S. also competed in the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s (Missouri S&T) Annual Mine Rescue Competition. The Doe Run Company’s (Doe Run) Maroon Mine Rescue Team earned first place in the field competition – the highest honor for the event.
Doe Run’s Maroon and Gray Teams competed with 14 of the top mine rescue teams from seven states from Oct. 3 through Oct. 6 at the Missouri S&T Experimental Mine in Rolla.
The event consisted of a field competition of two simulated underground emergency situations, a first aid competition with a CPR and first-responder scenario, and a team technician competition to test technical troubleshooting of mine rescue equipment. Each event also included a written test to assess the team’s knowledge. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) judged the event.
In addition to first place in the field competition, the Maroon Team won Best in Association and second place in the first aid competition. Doe Run’s Gray Team also finished strong earning a fourth place finish in the field competition.
“These competitions give us realistic mine rescue challenges,” said Steve Setzer, captain of Doe Run’s Maroon Team. “The exercises help keep our skills sharp in case we need to aid our fellow employees during a real mine emergency. The Missouri S&T competition is especially important to us because the mining students have a chance to participate in the events. They are our future miners, and it is always inspiring to see their enthusiasm and dedication to mine safety.”
Doe Run’s mine rescue teams train at least eight hours every month on a voluntary basis and compete in mine rescue competitions annually. The teams consistently place near the top at regional and national mine rescue competitions, including a first place finish for the Maroon Team at the 2010 and 2014 National Mine Rescue Championships.
“We’re proud of our mine rescue teams and the dedication they have shown,” said Steve Batts, vice president – Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Operations at Doe Run. “When they represent Doe Run at these competitions with other members of the mining industry, they demonstrate Doe Run’s ongoing commitment to making employee safety our top priority.”
Doe Run owns six underground lead mines in Missouri, and has earned the National Mining Association’s prestigious Sentinels of Safety Award 27 times since 1971. Each employee must participate in 40 hours of mine safety training before working in the mines. Companywide, Doe Run employees go through more than 15,000 hours of safety training annually.