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Dugout canyon wins coal mine rescue competition

Mine rescue teams practice their skills.

Utah's Dugout Canyon Mine Wins

Coal Mine Rescue Competition

Miners from four states competed in the Rocky Mountain Coal Mine Rescue Competition held in Price. Teams from Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico traveled to Price to put their life saving skills to the test.

The 38th annual competition was hosted by Rocky Mountain Coal Mine Rescue Association. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Utah Labor Commission provided the officials and judges for the competition. Kent Houghton and Debbie King, Division of Boiler, Elevator and Coal Mine Safety, were part of the officiating team.

The three-day competition began with the First Aid and Bench competitions. First Aid specialists treat injuries and perform vital medical treatment. Benchmen identify and fix problems with breathing apparatuses needed to avoid inhalation of potentially deadly gases emitted by a mine fire or explosion.

In the Mine Rescue competition teams are required to overcome obstacles they may encounter in a real mine disaster when rescuing survivors. They are judged on their knowledge of mine-rescue principles, mapping skills, overall knowledge, organization, attention to detail and teamwork.

The competition wrapped up with an awards banquet where trophies were awarded for the top three placing teams in each category. Dugout Canyon Mine, located near Price, defeated 17 other mine rescue teams, earning the first place award for Mine Rescue. Bridger Coal - Red Team, located near Point of Rocks, Wyo. won first place in the First Aid contest. Mike Porter from West Ridge Mine, located near East Carbon, came in first of 21 in the Pre-shift competition, and Gary Boyd from Deer Creek Mine took first place in the Bench competition.

Although the problems encountered in the competition are simulated mine disasters and the miners are competing for awards, this is no game. Mine Rescuers are the ones who go into a coal mine when all the other miners are being evacuated in an emergency. They put their own lives and safety on the line to rescue their fellow miners. They invest a lot of time, training and hard work

sharpening their skills and advancing their knowledge so that when the time comes that they are needed, they are prepared for the responsibility.

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