Mine rescue teams recognized for their efforts on Oct. 30
In 2013, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) established Oct. 30 as national Mine Rescue Day as a way to recognize and show appreciation for the sacrifice and dedication that is regularly made by the volunteers who put their own lives at risk in order to save the lives of others who work in the mines.
Today, there are more than 250 mine rescue teams in the United States. Each team is equipped and certified to perform rescue operations at mines throughout the country. The teams train regularly and compete in regional and nation-wide competitions to sharpen the skills they hope to never use in a real life situation.
Tragically, mine rescue teams were called into action in Kazakhstan over the weekend where a methane explosion is believed to have started a fire that has claimed the lives of at least 32 miners.
In the United States, members of the mining community have been called upon to rescue their fellow miners from emergency situations in coal and metal and nonmetal mines, whether trapped by fires, explosions, roof falls, flooding or harmful gases. Over time, these mine rescuers have become better trained and organized, and the equipment they use has become ever more sophisticated.
“When they are called, these rescuers do not hesitate,” MSHA wrote at it website. “They undertake some of the most difficult and risky emergency response work in this country, sometimes traveling miles in dark underground mines filled with debris and poisonous and explosive gases in order to find missing miners or recover those who did not survive. For more information on mine rescue, visit our mine rescue training page.
“On Mine Rescue Day, we salute these brave individuals who give their time and risk their lives in the service of others.”
Photo credit: MSHA