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Southeast Cumberland campus serves as host to the Harlan County Safety Days Mine Rescue Competition

Jul 29, 2013 - | 03:39 PM -

 The Harlan County Safety Days annual Mine Rescue Competition came to a close Thursday evening at the Benham School House Inn with hundreds of coal miners, their families, mining officials, government officials and plenty of supporting community residents in attendance. While the purpose of the evening was to hand out awards to the winning mine rescue teams, the night also proved to be a rousing gathering in support of coal and its value to the nation.


“We may be down, but we’re not out,” said the Harlan County Safety Days Awards Banquet featured speaker Bill Bissett, who serves as president of the Kentucky Coal Association. “We’re facing scary times in this nation right now, but seeing the strength and the unity among our coal miners like I see tonight gives us hope!”

Harlan County Safety Days Mine Rescue Competition began Tuesday on the Grounds of Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College. SKCTC and the Kentucky Coal Academy helped sponsor the mine rescue contest, which is organized by The Cumberland Tourist Commission. Eighteen teams from several states took part in the contest. Jeremy Williams, who serves on the Harlan County Safety Days planning committee, said during the banquet that some of the finest mine rescue teams in the nation were in attendance.”

“And one of these teams can go on to be the national champions,” Williams declared.

Jimbo Vicini of Arch Coal also bragged on the caliber of mine rescue skills that were evident during this week’s Harlan County Safety Days contest.

“To get to Columbus, Ohio (Nationals), you have to go through Harlan County,” Vicini exclaimed with loud applause.

The 2013 Harlan County Safety Days Overall Grand Champion team was Arch Coal’s Cumberland River Blue Team, based out of Oven Fork in Letcher County. Newly-hired SKCTC President Dr. Lynn Moore presented the winning team with a handcrafted dulcimer. The Second Overall Winner was Arch Coal’s Lone Mountain Processing’s team, and Third Overall was Alpha Natural Resource’s Southern Kentucky team.

Trophies for the Bench, Pre-Shift, First Aid, and Mine Rescue contests were also awarded Thursday evening.

Winners include:

Bench Bio Pak 240R: First Place — Kentucky Coal Academy, Ryan Culbertson; second place – Arch Coal Beckley Gold Team, Mike Kincaid; and third place — Arch Coal Beckley Gold Team, Roy Smith.

Bench BG4: First place (tie) — Walter Energy, Jim Walter Resources Team No. 4, Joey Hammrick and Alpha Natural Resources, Southern Kentucky, Tony Lloyd; second place — Arch Coal, Cumberland River Coal Blue Team, Michael Johnson; and third place — Alpha Natural Resources, Southern Kentucky, Tim Turner.

Pre-Shift: First place — Arch Coal Cumberland River Coal Company Blue Team, Chris Couch; second place — Kentucky Coal Academy, David Mackey; and third place — Alpha Natural Resources, East Kentucky, Charles Conn

First Aid: First place — Arch Coal Mingo Logan Coal Mountain Laurel Gold Team, Mark Keyser captain; second place — Mine Rescue Services LLC Southeast Kentucky Mine Rescue Team, Ernie Miller captain; and third place — Walter Energy, Jim Walter Resources Team No. 4, Craig Slate captain.

Mine Rescue Day One: First place — Alpha Natural Resources Southern Kentucky; second place — TECO Coal Corporation Gray Team; and third place — Mine Rescue Services, Southeast Kentucky Mine Rescue Team.

Mine Rescue Day Two: First place — Arch Coal Beckley Gold Team; second place – Arch Coal Cumberland River Blue Team; and third place – Arch Coal Lone Mountain Processing.

Combination (Mine Rescue/First Aid): First place — Arch Coal Mingo Logan Mountain Laurel Gold Team; second place — Mine Rescue Services LLC Southeast Kentucky Mine Rescue Team; and third place — TECO Coal Corp Gray Team

Overall Grand Champion: First place — Arch Coal Cumberland River Blue Team; second place — Arch Coal Lone Mountain Processing; and third place — Alpha Natural Resources Southern Kentucky.


Read more: The Harlan Daily Enterprise - Awards banquet concludes week of mine rescue contest