Mine safety team competition in Kentucky sharpens safety skills

Kerry Clines

June 19, 2017

Mine Rescue Teams Practicing on a Football Field
Screenshot from WYMT video.

Nine mine rescue teams competed for top honors in a three-day mine safety event held on a high school football field in Hazard, Ky., during the week of June 13, 2017, WYMT Mountain News reports. The event was put on by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Division of Mine Safety.

“Mine industry in the past has had a reputation of a dangerous industry, and today it’s not that way,” Lewis Mills, Alden Resources Director of Safety, tells the news agency, adding that he believes the future of mining safety is bright for both his team and all mining safety teams nationwide. Mills’ team was the national winner of the event in 2015.

“We’re getting stronger. If this continues, in a year or so we’ll be in decent shape again,” Fred Shannon, captain of the Alden Resources team, tells the news agency, explaining that there has been an increase in attendance that they expect to continue. “This year it’s seems there’s a little more perk in it.”

The goal of the competitive event was to keep miners safe. “We want to make sure that every miner that goes in the mine to earn a living goes back home,” Ricky Johnson, Mine Rescue coordinator, tells the news agency.

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Proceeds from the team registrations went to the Hazard High School band in return for providing awards and food for the teams.

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