Seventeen mine rescue teams, including one from as far away as Waynesburg, Penn., and others from Colorado, Wyoming and Utah participated Friday and Saturday in the 12th annual Rocky Mountain Coal Mine Rescue, Benchman and First Aid contest.
In addition to the mine rescue teams, there were seven first aid teams and eight benchman teams. Competition was on the football field at the College of Eastern Utah and at the national guard armory. The contest continued in spite of intermittent rain.Jed Giacoletto, chairman of the CEU mining department said, "It was the biggest competition in recent years." He attributed the good response to better promotion and especially to word-of-mouth advertising.
The purpose of the mine rescue competition is to keep skills at a high level for use in the event of an actual emergency. The mine rescue teams are given written problems and a map of a simulated mine. They have a time limit to plan and execute a rescue. Teams stay in isolation in one of the college buildings before their turn on the field to make sure no one gets an unfair advantage.
The benchmen, who are responsible for maintaining the equipment and monitoring its operation, are given faulty equipment during the contest. They have to get the bugs out and put it back in operating condition in a limited time.
Awards were presented at a concluding banquet at the national guard armory.