WVU awarded grant to enhance mine rescue training
West Virginia University’s Department of Mining and Industrial Extension has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration that will allow it to enhance its training for fire brigade and mine rescue teams.
According to Joshua Brady, associate director of mining extension, the funds, which total more than $171,000, will be used to develop and implement enhanced training that integrates the efforts and capabilities of fire brigades and mine rescue teams when responding to a mine emergency involving fire and trapped miners.
“Typical mine emergency response development exercises don’t combine the intervention of both teams,” Brady said. “The new training protocol we plan to develop will contribute to enhancing the awareness of the capabilities of each team. This should lead to improved coordination and communication, which will improve mine emergency preparedness and ultimately prevent loss of life and property.”
Brady added that the grant will be also used for the recruitment of several mine rescue teams and fire brigades from different mines and to implement the training exercises and subsequent evaluations to assess reactions and feedback. The training exercises will be conducted by extension agents of the Department, who have extensive expertise in mine firefighting and mine rescue. It will be conduct at WVU’s Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies in Core, which features a simulated underground mine laboratory with live fire capabilities.
Brady and Eduardo Sosa, research associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, serve as co-leads on the award.
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