The 2016 recipients include the Colorado School of Mines, which will receive $240,024 for its training of mine rescue teams, especially enhancing knowledge and skills for crews and incident command staff in the areas of technical rescue, communications and decision making during mine emergencies.

Rend Lake College in Illinois will use its $133,240 in funding to provide training to mine rescue officials and mine rescue teams, with a focus on mine fire brigade training and increased preparedness for those participating in mine emergencies.

Another Colorado group, The Colorado Department of Natural Resources will provide advanced mine rescue skills training for all of the state’s underground mines and mine emergency prevention with its award of $217,877.

The University of Arizona, which will receive $187,054, will use the funds to improve self-escape skills in response to underground mine emergency events by use of virtual reality gaming.

A $50,000 funding award was given to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. It will use the money to develop training materials and provide training on mine emergency preparedness and mine emergency prevention.

Finally, West Virginia University will be receiving $171,805 in funding; the school plans to utilize it for the development and implementation of enhanced and realistic mine rescue training exercises that combine the efforts and abilities of a mine rescue team and fire brigade responding to a simulated coal mine fire emergency and locating missing personnel.

The Brookwood-Sago grant program was established under a provision of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act).