Mine rescue team takes top honors in Craig competition

Blue Mountain Energy’s Deserado “Silver” mine rescue team brought home top honors at the state level. Left to right: Aaron Peacock, Rangely; Colt Nickson, Rangely; Josh Davies, Vernal; Hank McKay, Meeker; Larry Martinez, Vernal; Chance Peters, Rangely; Jayme Hiegert, Vernal; Karl Davies, Vernal and Caden Pummell, Vernal.
KELSEY PETERS PHOTO

RANGELY | Blue Mountain Energy’s Deserado “Silver” mine rescue team participated in the 28th annual Coal Mine Rescue, First Aid and Bench Contest in Craig July 15-18. Nine teams from Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming gathered to compete for ranking. The teams are judged and scored by officials from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The Colorado Mine Rescue Association hosts the event, providing the venue, field set-up and materials, awards banquet and trophies.
Teams participate in mock mine disasters to systematically perform rescue and recovery operations and are scored based on discounts or docks for skills improperly performed or not performed. First aid teams are judged on assessment, treatment and preparation to transport injured miners. Benchmen are the technicians that maintain, troubleshoot and repair the vital breathing apparatus used in irrespirable atmospheres. They are assessed on how quickly they can test, de-bug and assemble a closed circuit breathing apparatus.
After four days of competition, Deserado Mine’s Silver team took home a first place in first aid, second place for day one of the mine rescue contest, first place for day two of the mine rescue contest, first place as a combination team (mine rescue and first aid) and a third place bench trophy among 24 benchmen. As a result, the team will head to Lexington, Kentucky, in September to compete for national ranking.
In 2017, the Deserado Black team was ranked seventh as a combination team among the 60 teams at the national contest held in Beaver, West Virginia.
All of Deserado’s mine rescue team members are volunteer employees of the mine and provide contract services to other local mines. The mining community is grateful for their level of skill and courage and pray they never have need of those skills.

Special to the Herald Times

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