The Big Island Mine''s OCI "Blue Team" from Green River, Wyo., was the national winner in the 2000 National and International Mine Rescue Contest held last week in Las Vegas, Nev.
Westinghouse''s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant "Blue Team" from Carlsbad, N.M., finished second, and the FMC Mine''s "Red Team," also from Green River, rounded out the top three.
In the international competition, Poland''s mine rescue team finished first, followed by the United States and Peru.
This is only the second year of international competition. The contest is sponsored by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Mine rescue competitions are designed to test the knowledge of miners who might be called upon to respond to a real mine emergency.
The contest requires six-member teams to solve a hypothetical mine emergency problem -- such as a fire, explosion or cave-in -- while judges rate them on their adherence to mine rescue procedures and how quickly they complete specific tasks.
Mine rescue training began in the United States in 1910 and evolved into local and regional competitions one year later.
During this year''s awards ceremony, four veterans of mine rescue were inducted into the Mine Rescue Hall of Fame.
by Virginia Sutcliffe