The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Mineral Resources Management (MRM) held its 4th Annual Ohio Mine Safety Competition at the state-of-the-art Jerry L. Stewart Mine Safety Training Center in Cadiz on June 22.
“The team to beat this year was the Red Team from Century Mine,” said Lanny Erdos, division deputy chief. “We’re proud of the skills of all of our Ohio mine rescue teams, but it was the first time in four years that one team took all of the top honors.”
The competition has three major events: Mine Rescue, Smoke Scenario and Bench Competition. The Red Team from Century Mine, which is owned by American Energy Corporation, took first place in all three event.
“We take pride in what we do together,” said David Adams, a longwall maintenance supervisor at Century Mine. “If it ever comes down to it, with our training we know we have what it takes to rescue our miners.”
Most of the eight-member team have been competing for an average of five to seven years, however, much of their practice time is done outside of their work hours. The company covers expenses for the team to compete at four competitions annually. Their next stop—the national Mine Safety Competition in Ohio in October.
“Ohio’s Mine Safety Training Center was designed to provide mine rescuers and mine workers with a facility where they can conduct training exercises that will help keep them safe on the job,” said Erdos. “Such training enhances mine safety, reinforces accident prevention programs and, in turn, strengthens Ohio’s mining industry.”
ODNR partnered with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, Pennsylvania Bureau of Deep Mine Safety and West Virginia Office of Miners Health, Safety and Training to stage the event. Judges, who often serve as mine safety inspectors professionally, spend a long day judging the event, as well as teaching participants how to better meet the challenges presented during the competition events.
“As a mine rescue trainer in Pennsylvania and relatively new to judging, I appreciate every opportunity to learn,” said Rod Shabbick from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Deep Mine Safety. “These competitions provide additional learning for me as well as the participants.”
The Ohio Mine Safety Competition will count toward one of the two federally required mine safety and rescue programs that miners must annually complete.
The Mine Safety Training Center has two 158’ x 200’ simulated mines that provide a venue for vital hands-on training. There are also four classrooms onsite, which allow MRM staff to conduct informative training sessions regarding the Ohio mining industry and mine safety.
The ODNR Division of Mineral Resources Management provides for the safe and environmentally sound development and restoration of mineral and fossil fuel extraction sites. For more information, visit www.ohiodnr.com.