2021 Eastern Collegiate Mine Rescue Contest showcases student mining skills at the West Virginia Training and Conference CenterNovember 29, 2021
In early November, the West Virginia Training and Conference Center (WVTCC) hosted the SME – Eastern Collegiate Mine Rescue National Competition for the first time. During the event, teams of students from universities in the tri-state area, University of Kentucky, West Virginia University and Virginia Tech, met at the facility in Boone County to determine who would be named the best in the region.
“This is a collaboration between a lot of mine industry professionals who do mine rescue all the time and those of us in academia who are developing the future engineers for the industry. This is an opportunity for the future leaders of the industry to work together with the mine rescue organizations so they can all understand what goes on should the worst thing happen,” said Dr. Steve Schafrik, Associate Professor at the University of Kentucky.
The mine rescue competitions were created by the nonprofit Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. The competition helps enhance the skills, knowledge and abilities of engineering students in the basic principles of mine rescue, teamwork and leadership.
“The Collegiate Mine Rescue Organization was set up to teach students team-building skills in an avenue and a location to participate in those events,” said Wayne Davis, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of the SME Eastern Collegiate Mine Rescue Organization.
“This Center was chosen because it is one of the premier training locations for this in the world,” Dr. Schafrik noted.
As part of the competition, contestants participated in a written exam and a simulated team rescue exercise. During the hands-on part of the event, teams had to locate and show on their maps various elements. They needed to note the locations of persons, smoke, gasses or caved areas; unsafe infrastructure; deep water; ignition sources; and refuge alternatives, among other tasks.
After completing both portions of the competition, students from West Virginia University’s Team Gold took first place.
1st Place Winners WVU Team Gold for SME Eastern Collegiate Mine Rescue National Competition
Jay Pollock, Team Captain for WVU Team Gold
Host Your Next Event at the WVTCC
Do you have an upcoming training or event? The WVTCC, a part of the WV Office of Miners’ Health Safety & Training, is the ideal location for your next event or mine training.
The WVTCC is equipped with banquet rooms, classrooms, electrical training labs and a 96,000-square-foot underground-simulated scenario mine training lab. The multi-purpose center can accommodate events for communities, companies, government and other organizations. To learn more about the WVTCC, visit westvirginiacenter.com or call 1-304-369-7823.