The three teams with the fastest times took the top prizes, including first place winners Alpha’s Coal River East team from West Virginia. Second place went to Alpha’s Brooks Run South Black crew from West Virginia, and third place to the Alpha Maxxim Blue group from Virginia.

A total of 24 mine rescue teams from across the country participated in the two-day competition October 7-8 at the Mining Technology and Training Center (MTCC) in Prosperity. Simulated emergency exercises involved smoke exploration and ventilation as well as firefighting, fire hose management, gas detection, air measurements, use of breathing apparatus and a written test.

Aside from Prosperity, the MTCC has another location in Beckley, West Virginia. Both locations provide mine emergency response training, including training opportunities for mine rescue teams and first responders.

“The skills competition held this week is a model for a new direction in training, and a testament to the dedication of those who volunteer their time and put their lives on the line,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “These men and women undertake some of the most risky emergency response in our country for their fellow miners.”