Rend Lake College receives grant for third time - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Rend Lake College receives grant for third time

INA, IL (KFVS) -

For the third time, Rend Lake College has been chosen as a recipient of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration’s Brookwood-Sago Grant.

RLC received $133,240 in funding to provide training to mine rescue officials and mine rescue teams, with a focus on mine fire brigade training and increased preparedness for those participating for mine emergencies.

“The current award has three main parts,” explained Dean of Applied Science Chris Nielsen.

“First, in collaboration with Southern Illinois University Carbondale Saluki Miners we will train a novice mine rescue team using the classes developed during the first grant. Second, we will conduct a four-day training session to train mine rescue officials and to hold a mine rescue contest with the Saluki Miners participating with other novice teams. The contest will be designed, and judged, by the newly trained mine rescue officials. Third, we will train mine fire brigades and mine rescue teams in the facilities developed in the previous grants.”

Rend Lake College receives $133,240 from the Brookwood-Sago Grant to help train mine rescue and fire teams.

Selected by the MSHA, RLC was one of six organizations to receive funds as part of the grant.

In total, the Brookwood-Sago Grant totaled $1 million to develop training programs and materials that support mine rescue and mine emergency preparedness for underground mines.

“The common thread is the training of fire brigades and rescue teams in realistic fire scenarios. We use everything from theatrical smoke to real smoke. Firefighters feel the heat and wrestle the hose in dark smoky environments. It’s as close to real life as we can make it. The benefit is cohesive teams which know their equipment and what to expect in the event they are called upon to fight a real mine fire,” Nielsen said.

A provision in the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 established the Brookwood-Sago grant program to promote mine safety while honoring the 25 men who died in Brookwood, Ala., in 2001 at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine, and in Buchannon, W.Va., in 2006 at the Sago Mine.

RLC was first awarded the grant in 2009 for a total of $50,000.

The money was used to train mine fire brigades and rescue teams as well as to develop a curriculum that could be used to train mine rescue teams.

In 2012, RLC received $93,000 from the grant. In addition to training, that award allowed for the construction of a three-story surface firefighting facility, built from shipping containers on the west side of campus.

For more information about the Brookwood-Sago grant, contact Nielsen at 618-437-5321, ext. 1292.

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