More than 80 coal miners from around the region will assemble to compete and 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.
“We have been hosting this event for seven years, and this year is the third time we have had 12 teams compete. These teams are both local, regional, and come as far as 120 miles away,” stated Ben Ross, career and technical education coordinator at SIC. “We have made a few changes from the previous year’s events and anticipate a real close competition for the participating teams.”
A total of 12 teams will be competing this year. Teams competing Tuesday, June 12, include Foresight Energy from Viking-Mach Mine in Marion, Illinois; Foresight Energy MaRyan Mine in Carlinville, Illinois; Hamilton County Coal Mine in Dahlgren, Illinois; Gateway North Mine in Coulterville, Illinois; Prairie State Lively Grove Mine in Marissa, Illinois; and Knight Hawk Coal inPercy, Illinois
Competing Wednesday, June 13, are Sunrise Coal in Oaktown, Indiana; Foresight Energy from Viking Mach Mine in Marion,Illinois; Foresight Energy MaRyan Mine in Carlinville, Illinois; Indiana Bureau of Mines in Vincennes, Indiana; Peabody Francisco Mine in Owensville, Indiana; and Peabody Wildcat Mine in Equality, Illinois.
The event features competitions in smoke training in the simulated mine training facility, hose management, field search and rescue, fire suppression in the burn tunnel facility, first aid scenarios and equipment use.
Trophies will be awarded each day to the top three teams upon completion of the competition. An overall winner will be announced at the end of Day Two. The overall winner of the past two years of competition was Foresight Energy.
Officials from Illinois Eastern Community Colleges – which administers all coal mining classes offered at SIC – as well as theIllinois Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Mines and Minerals, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and a large number of volunteers from SIC will all serve together as judges, guides and more to make this a successful event. Visitors whowould like to watch the competition are welcome, but advised to please stay back from the active competition areas.
The competition runs from approximately 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Competition rules, registration information and past winners can be found at www.sic.edu/minecompetition. For more information, contact Ben Ross at 618-252-5400, ext. 2248.