VT_MineRescue_2 (1) LR-min

Pictured left to right, Richard E. Bishop, Ph.D. Professor of Practice and Mining Engineering at Virginia Tech, John Lewis, Corporate Safety Coordinator at United Coal Co., Jason Chapman, Safety Director at the Affinity Coal Division, and Nino Ripepi, Associate Professor at Virginia Tech.

United Coal Co. (UCC) generously donated Biomarine mine rescue equipment to Virginia Tech’s Mine Engineering Department. This equipment is intended to bolster mine rescue training opportunities for students, facilitating their development into proficient mining engineers.

The decision to donate the mine rescue equipment was prompted by UCC’s equipment upgrade. Upon learning that Virginia Tech Mining Engineering students required additional equipment for enhanced mine rescue training, UCC seized the opportunity to contribute. This addition not only allows more students to participate but also ensures that graduates possess valuable real-life experience, showcasing their safety and rescue proficiency gained at Virginia Tech.

The equipment will enable more students to engage in simulated mine rescue activities, providing them with a comprehensive understanding of emergency situations before entering the workforce. The enthusiasm and gratitude expressed by the department underscores the value of this donation. UCC believes the additional equipment could elevate the collegiate team’s capabilities for national collegiate mine rescue competitions.

Recognizing the importance of this contribution in advancing safety and preparedness in the mining industry, UCC emphasizes that providing students access to mine rescue equipment fosters real-world experience and participation in mock mine emergency training. This initiative contributes to a heightened level of expertise among future mining engineers.

UCC produces about 3 million metric tons per year of high-quality metallurgical coal from underground mining operations. The company said the donation exemplifies its commitment to nurturing skilled and safety-conscious mining engineers.