WV Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training

WVTCC hosts the Southern WV Mine Rescue Competition

The West Virginia Training and Conference Center (WVTCC) hosted the  Southern WV Mine Rescue Competition for the second time. The competition started in the ‘60s and has a long legacy of being a competition companies want to participate in.

“The State of West Virginia has helped out tremendously as far as allowing us to use the training center which is a spectacular facility, but also, offering the help of the West Virginia Office of Miner Health Safety Training to help with judges and everything else that goes along with a contest like this,” Sam Cunningham, Southern WV Mine Rescue Association Member, said. 

“There’s about 30 state inspectors here acting as judges, helping set up and prep, they’re helping judge the field, judge the competition,” JJ Meadows, Southern WV Mine Rescue Association Member said. 

“Mine rescue teams do a lot of intense training, usually anywhere up to 16 and 30 hours a month,” Danny Quesenberry, Southern WV Mine Rescue Association Member, said. 

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. 

Mine rescue members note the locations of persons, smoke, gasses or caved areas; unsafe infrastructure; deep water; ignition sources; and refuge alternatives, among other tasks.

“So essentially with mine rescue what we do is try to create some type of simulated real-world scenario for a mine disaster that the mine-rescue teams might be called out to go underground and actually explore,” Sam Cunningham, Southern WV Mine Rescue Association Member, said. 

“You’re wearing your apparatus, you’re seeing things you actually see when you go underground in a disaster and these guys train over and over, not only physically but mentally,” Danny Quesenberry, Southern WV Mine Rescue Association Member, said. “From the competition setting you learn to recognize hazards and also how to react to changes in the mine atmosphere and mine conditions.” 

United Coal Company’s Wellmore Mine Rescue team won first place in the competition. Wellmore had zero total discounts and completed the competition with a working time of 58 minutes, 32 seconds. Second place went to Southern Poca Apache and third place went to Coronado Coal’s Central Appalachian team. 

Congratulations to all of the participants this year and all are looking forward to next year’s event. 

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. 

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