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WVU to host collegiate mine rescue competition

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On Saturday, April 2, student mine rescue teams from three universities will join their counterparts fromWest Virginia Universityfor a competition to be held theAcademy for Mine Training and Energy Technologiesin Core.


The inaugural Eastern Collegiate Mine Rescue Organization competition will feature two teams each from WVU and Virginia Tech as well as teams from Penn State University and University of Kentucky. The teams will be tasked with solving a traditional mine rescue problem that includes rescuing a “live” person or persons from the Academy’s simulated underground mine.

According to Joshua Brady, associate director of mining extension at WVU, the competition will be a test of decision making and communication skills.

“The teams will have to work together to find the ‘missing’ miners, correct hazardous conditions they find in the mine, remove harmful mining gasses they encounter and successfully navigate around obstacles they encounter along the way, all under the pressures of the competition,” said Brady, who noted the teams will be judged by mine professionals from Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“It also provides us with an opportunity to showcase the quality of our training facilities to the next generation of mining engineers,” he added.

“In the past, the only event we would compete in would be the Mine Technology and Training Center’s Pennsylvania Regional Mine Rescue Skills Contest, in Ruff Creek, Pennsylvania, against industry teams,” said Nicholas Grieshop, president of the WVU Mine Rescue Team. “This will be our first year participating in two competitions and our first time competing at the WVU facility in a collegiate event.”

Officially recognized by the University in 2012, the WVU Mine Rescue Team was created to give students in mining engineering the chance to create connections in the tight-knit mining industry.

“We have had a volunteer presence at the (National Mine Rescue Association) Post 5 Competition in Morgantown and the 2014 Nationwide Skills Competition at MTTC,” said Grieshop, a mining engineering major from Lithopolis, Ohio. “Our involvement in this competition allows us to expand our experience base with mine rescue problems and to showcase a year’s worth of work and dedication. It also allows us to gauge the effectiveness of our training and can influence how we train teams in future years.”

Joining Grieshop on the team are mining and civil engineering dual majors Greg Parker (St. Clairsville, Ohio), Jennifer Smith (Greensboro, Maryland) Jordan Tracy (Boonsboro, Maryland) and Erin Brooker (Wilmington, Ohio), and mining engineer majors Zach Minton (Lewisburg), Jeff Fetty (Catskill, New York), Mark Shaughnessy (Brunswick, Ohio), Smith Shrestha (Morgantown), Jeremy Diehlmann (Crofton, Maryland), Cory Krall (WVU Honors College, Perryopolis, Pennsylvania), David Kuegler (Finksburg, Maryland), Ismail Azimi (Washington, D.C.) and Laura Nugent (Morgantown).



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