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MSHA opens mine rescue station in Kentucky

mine rescue station

Photo: The Department of Labor

Madisonville, KY – A new mine rescue station in Kentucky aims to improve response times to mine emergencies in the Midwest.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration unveiled the facility during a Sept. 18 ribbon-cutting ceremony. The station, located at the Madisonville Community College’s Coal Mine Academy, joins three other regional mine rescue stations located in Beckley, WV; Pittsburgh; and Price, UT.

MSHA said the Kentucky station will feature:

  • A fully equipped mine emergency unit team truck
  • A surface communication system
  • A first-response underground communication system
  • Infrared gas monitoring
  • A mobile gas chromatograph laboratory

“Part of my vision involves establishing mine rescue stations across the country that are fully equipped with the latest technology so that MSHA can respond to emergencies more quickly,” MSHA administrator Joseph A. Main wrote in a blog post on the Department of Labor website. “This includes a system that would allow advancing teams to communicate directly with the command center, eliminating the miscommunication that has often plagued mine rescue, such as during the Sago mine disaster in 2006.”

Main added that such safety enhancements “can make all the difference.”