By BILL ARCHER Bluefield Daily Telegraph BLUEFIELD 26 May 2013
Kambri Richardson carries the first place trophy to her daddy; Keith Richardson, captain of the Consol Energy Buchanan Red Team. SunCoke Energy Black Team earned second place; and the Pinnacle Mining Co. Pinnacle Blue Team earned third place honors.
As seniors at Bluefield State College were busy receiving their diplomas during the college's commencement exercises last weekend, part of Dickason Hall as well as the Dr. P.R. Higginbotham Field at the June 0. Shott Sports Complex was a beehive of activity as mine rescue teams competed in the 7th Annual Mine Rescue Competition The competition is jointly sponsored by CART (Center for Applied Research & Technology) Inc., and Welch Post· No. l of the National Mine Rescue Association, the "Smoke Eaters." A record number of 19 teams competed in this year's event, with Consol Energy's Buchanan Red Team earning first place honors; the SunCoke Energy Black Team earned second place; and the pinnacle Mining Co. Pinnacle Blue Team earned third place honors.
"We had 19 teams this year which was the most we've ever had before," Mike Plumley, director of the competition said. "That's seven more teams than we have ever had before."
"The coal miners who are on these mine rescue teams are the best of the best," Plumley said. "The teams typically include mine foremen and other key employees in any coal operation. We arrange our competition so it can be a practice session, and we hold it on a Saturday so employers can release these coal miners when production at the mines is a little slower than it is at mid-week."
Plumley holds an undergraduate degree from BSC as well as both master’s degree in mining engineering and an MBA from Marshall University. When he was working at the Pinnacle Mine, he was part of the 2005 mine rescue team that won a national championship.
“Training is a key resource to any mining operation, but we also want to make our competition a place where more experienced mine rescue team members can work with mine rescue team members with less experience to help them improve their skills,” Plumley said. “It’s a competition but it’s also a networking opportunity for these team members.”
Bruce Mutter, chief executive officer of CART, Inc., said he is honored to work with the Welch Post No. 1 Smoke Eaters to host the competition.
“Assisting with the annual mine rescue competition is particularly appropriate because of our school’s commitment to our mining engineering technology program at BSC, industry participation in our mine safety related research initiatives and the fact that so many of our graduates work in the mining industry and have been so good about coming back to help BSC and CART,” Mutter said
Heather Williams, CART administrative assistant said that the teams in the competition included: Alpha Performance; Alpha -Southern WV; Arch Coal -. Black; Arch Coal -Gold; Coal River -Coal River; Coal River -Fork Creek; Consol Energy-Black; Consol Energy -Red; Mingo Logan Coal; Pinnacle -Blue; .Pinnacle -White; Pocahontas Coal; Southern Coalfield -Blue; Southern Coalfield Red; SunCoke Energy - Black; SunCoke Energy -Orange; Tri-state -A; Tri-State -B; and Wolf Run -Blue: For a complete group of photographs and names of competing teams, visit www.cartinc.com/Events/Mine Rescue
-Contact Bill Archer at email@example.com