SIC hosts annual mine rescue competition - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIC hosts annual mine rescue competition

Harrisburg’s Wildcat Hills Team competes in the first aid exercise during the Mine Rescue Skills Competition at Southeastern Illinois College in 2014. (Source:Southeastern Illinois College) Harrisburg’s Wildcat Hills Team competes in the first aid exercise during the Mine Rescue Skills Competition at Southeastern Illinois College in 2014. (Source:Southeastern Illinois College)
The American Coal Team from Galatia competes in the hose management exercise during the 2014 Mine Rescue Skills Competition at Southeastern Illinois College. (Source:Southeastern Illinois College) The American Coal Team from Galatia competes in the hose management exercise during the 2014 Mine Rescue Skills Competition at Southeastern Illinois College. (Source:Southeastern Illinois College)
Day 1 first, second and third place winners. Top to Bottom: Gateway Mine, MCC and Foresight Energy North. (Source: SIC) Day 1 first, second and third place winners. Top to Bottom: Gateway Mine, MCC and Foresight Energy North. (Source: SIC)
Day 2 first, second and third place winners. Top to bottow: SunRise, Foresight Energy North and Foresight Energy South. (Source: SIC) Day 2 first, second and third place winners. Top to bottow: SunRise, Foresight Energy North and Foresight Energy South. (Source: SIC)
HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) -

Twelve teams gathered June 9-10 for the fourth Mine Safety and Rescue Skills Competition in Illinois at Southeastern Illinois College in partnership with Illinois Eastern Community Colleges.


Rescue teams at area coal mines train in a variety of skills they hope to never have to use, readying themselves for fires, cave-ins and various other potential underground disasters.

Miners from Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky converged for a happier display of those skills at the competition in Harrisburg, Ill.

This year's teams that competed on Tuesday, June 9 included: American Coal Company of Galatia, Illinois; Foresight Energy North from MaRyan/Patton Mine in Hillsboro, Illinois; Gateway Mine in Coulterville, Illinois; Kentucky Coal Academy's Madisonville Community College Mine Rescue Team from Madisonville, Kentucky; Knight Hawk Coal in Cutler, Illinois; and Lively Grove Mine in Marissa, Illinois.

Those who competed Wednesday, June 10 were: Foresight Energy North from MaRyan Patton Mine in Hillsboro, Illinois; Foresight Energy South from Vicking-Mach Mine in Marion, Illinois; Patikki Mine in Carmi, Illinois; Sunrise Coal Mine Rescue Team in Carlisle, Indiana; White Oak Resources in McLeansboro, Illinois; and Wildcat Hills Mine in Harrisburg, Illinois.

The event featured competitions in first aid scenarios, equipment use, burn tower search and rescue, hose management, field search and rescue, and fire suppression in the college's state-of-the-art burn tunnel facility.

One miner said although he's been in mine competitions for years, there's always something new each year.

“Everybody learns something every time they come out on a competition because it's never new but you always learn something new,” competitor Joe Drone said.

Trophies were each day to the top three teams upon completion of the competition.  

Tuesday's winners were: 

  • 1st – Gateway Mine in Coulterville, Illinois.
  • 2nd – Kentucky Coal Academy's Madisonville Community College Mine Rescue Team from Madisonville, Ky.
  • 3rd – Foresight Energy North from Maryan/Patton Mine in Hillsboro, Illinois.

Wednesday's winners were:

  • 1st place – SunRise Coal Mine Rescue Team from Oaktown, Indiana.
  • 2nd place – Foresight Energy North – Blue Team from Patton/Maryan Mine in Carlinville, Illinois
  • 3rd place – Foresight Energy South Team – a composite team from Viking Mine in Macedonia, Illinois  and Mach Mine in Johnston City, Illinois

Drone said the coal industry has taken a pretty big hit when it comes to jobs and the economy, says it's an industry that's needed in Southern Illinois.

"It's providing something that we need very much you know, which is electricity and not too many things don't run on electricity," Drone said. "And coals is economical as you can get really and it's never going to run out."

SIC administrators say they do offer retraining classes for miners who have been displaced or laid off.

In addition to scores of volunteers from SIC, officials from Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, which administers all coal mining classes offered at SIC, as well as the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Office of Mines and Minerals and the Mine Safety and Health Administration all served together as judges, guides and more to make this a successful event. 

Competition rules can be found at www.sic.edu/miningcompetition.

For more information, contact Karen Weiss at 618-252-5400, ext. 2300.

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