TENNESSEE MINE RESCUE TEAM PARTICIPATES IN MOCK MINE DISASTER DRILL
TENNESSEE LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONER ATTENDS
NASHVILLE — Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development (TDLWD) Commissioner James Neeley joined more than a dozen members of Tennessee’s Mine Rescue Safety Team in a mock mine disaster drill held April 18-19, at the Richard City Mines in South Pittsburg. The division of mines in conjunction with Vulcan Materials has been planning the drill since November 2005. Other participants in the drill included the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Cave Cliff Rescue Team, Grandview EMS, Marion County EMA and HAZMAT Team, Marion County 9-1-1, South Pittsburg Fire Department, Jasper Fire Department, Irondale Fire Department, and the Kimball Fire Department.
The drill was a two day event and consisted of several rescues of individuals with various injuries such as smoke inhalation, burns and broken limbs. The rescue teams would have to locate the mock victims within the mine. Once they found the victim, the teams would determine their injuries and prepare them for safe evacuation. Once the mock victims were out of the mine they were turned over to local EMS crews for transport.
Commissioner James Neeley attended the event and commended all participants. “As the nation witnessed in West Virginia just a short time ago, the mining occupation can be deadly,” said Commissioner Neeley. “It is vitally important that our mine rescue teams are trained as best they can be. Every minute and every second are crucial. Today’s drill shows our team along with the local rescue teams are prepared should a tragedy happen in a Tennessee mine.”
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Mines division is responsible for maintaining two mine rescue teams in a state of readiness for response to mine emergencies in underground mines in Tennessee. Each underground mine that participates in the mine rescue program provides two members for the team.
The division has mine safety instructors certified by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The instructors are available to teach mine safety classes anywhere within the state. Mine safety training is required for all miners working in coal mines, crushed stone quarries, sand and gravel pits, and any other operations in the state. The safety instructors conduct new miner, annual refresher training, first aid/CPR, and other courses as requested by the industry.
The Division also collects mine license fees from all underground coal and metal mines and surface coal mines. Mine foreman examinations are held quarterly and those applicants successfully passing the exam are certified as a Tennessee mine foreman.
*Photo available upon request.