MSHA recognizes Oct. 30 as Mine Rescue Day - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

MSHA recognizes Oct. 30 as Mine Rescue Day

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The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration announced that it will recognize Oct. 30 as Mine Rescue Day.

The date was selected because the first national mine rescue demonstration in the United States took place Oct. 30, 1911. Dr. Joseph A. Holmes organized the event. He was appointed in 1910 as the first director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines by President William Howard Taft. Both Holmes and Taft attended the inaugural event at the former Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

The announcement of the recognition came during the first meeting of the newly established Holmes Mine Rescue Association Oct. 29-30 at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver.

"To promote the importance of mine rescue teams and recognize the sacrifices made by team members and others who have responded to help miners in need during mine emergencies, I urge the mining community to recognize Oct. 30 as Mine Rescue Day," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "A day set aside to acknowledge and celebrate the courageous mine rescuers — past and present — who put their lives on the line to save other miners."

The association will provide a national forum for the mine rescue community to collaborate on best practices, procedures and training to enhance mine rescue capabilities for coal and metal/nonmetal mines.

"I have been involved in a number of mine emergencies during my life and know how critical it is to prepare our mine rescue responders for the emergencies that have so often occurred in the mining industry," Main said. "We owe these mine rescue responders the best training, the best equipment and the best preparation we can provide so they can be ready to respond should the need arise."