Mine team ranked 6th in nation

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Shad Peters, safety manger (Rangely); Caden Pummell, benchman and briefing officer (Vernal, Utah); Larry Martinez, benchman (Vernal); Karl Davies, captain, mine gas analyst and first aid, (Vernal); Jayme Hiegert, digital mapping and preshift examiner (Vernal); Hank McKay, trainer (Meeker); Josh Davies, Silver team captain, first aid and preshift examiner (Vernal);  Colt Nickson, tail captain, first aid and preshift examiner (Rangely);  Aaron Peacock, team map man, first aid and preshift examiner (Rangely);  and Chance Peters, stretcher bearer and benchman (Rangely).
Phoebe Nickson Photo

RANGELY | Blue Mountain Energy’s Deserado “Silver” Mine Rescue Team participated in the 2019 National Coal Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Preshift Contest, held Sept. 23-26, in Lexington, Kentucky. Fifty-two teams from underground coal mines all over the country, gathered to compete for national rank. The four-day event took place at the Lexington Center and was judged by Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) officials from each coal district. The Joseph A. Holmes Association, created in 1916, hosted the event. The team performed well enough in the Mine Rescue and First aid events to be ranked No. 6 in the nation as a combination team. Individually, benchman Caden Pummell came out with a national third place trophy in the Draeger BG4 Bench competition as well as the “Best in the State Award, presented by the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. Colt Nickson was also awarded “Best in the State” for his efforts in the Preshift examination challenge.The Black First aid team, consisting of Josh Davies, Colt Nickson and Larry Martinez, placed fourth Nationally and received “Best in the State” honors. The Deserado Red First Aid team, made up of Aaron Peacock, Karl Davies and Caden Pummell, is ranked No. 12 in the country. Not bad for a bunch of volunteers.

The National Coal Mine Rescue Contest is held every other, odd year and is typically dominated by Eastern teams. This year there are two teams from the West (Coal District No. 9) that rank among the top 10 in the U.S. along with the Deserado team, Peabody Energy’s 20 Mile No. 1 team is ranked second as a combination team and seventh in first aid. It takes a special breed of individuals to train and perfect skills we all pray are never needed. If the worst does happen, these are the selfless souls willing to enter hellish gates to rescue their fellow miners. Like our soldiers, there should be a special place in our hearts for any who would rescue us. God bless all who have ever answered that call.

Special to the Herald Times