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1465New Mexico team wins mine rescue contest

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  • Rob McGee
    Jul 16, 2004
      Friday,  Jul 16, 2004
      New Mexico team wins mine rescue contest

      7/15/2004 10:26 pm

      The Washington TRU-Solutions, WIPP Silver team from New Mexico took overall champion honors at the Metal and Nonmetal National Mine Rescue Contest awards banquet Thursday at the Peppermill Hotel-Casino in south Reno.

      The banquet ended three days of competition where 29 mine rescue teams from eleven states tested their skills in first-aid, field, gas and benchman contests.

      More than 800 attendees participated in the contest at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration said Eddie Lopez, the event’s co-director.

      “This is one of the better competitions at nationals in a long time because of the expertise included in creating the (field) problem,” said Dave Buller, alternate for the OCi Wyoming white team. “They’ve created a good environment.”

      None of the five Nevada teams made it to the finals of the field competition, but they enjoyed the experience.

      “As far as what we learned, it went well,” said Tom Senecal, member of the Newmont Eastern Nevada Operations team from Elko. “We pick up more information every time we come here.”

      The banquet also honored two Barrick Goldstrike mine rescue team members who died in Oct. 2002 when performing training exercises in a non-operating mine near Elko.

      The Dale R. Spring and Theodore C. Milligan award for the Best “All Around” Mine Rescue Team will be given in the men’s honor at all future national contests, said contest co-director John Radomsky.

      Mine rescue teams are called into emergency situations including mine explosions or fires. Almost all team members have other occupations within their companies but give up personal time to train for the team.

      Although the goal is to win, all participants have an unspoken bond with each other, said Henry Charpentier, captain and trainer of the Morton Salt Co. team from Louisiana.

      “If one of the teams was to ever need us, we would be there and the other way around if we ever needed them,” Charpentier said. “We cheer each other on. It’s like a brotherhood, kind of like we were born to be our brother’s keeper in this aspect.”

      The winners include:

      Overall champion: Washington TRU-Solutions, WIPP Silver of New Mexico

      Field competition: OCi Wyoming L.P., OCi White of Wyoming; Washington TRU-Solutions, WIPP Silver of New Mexico; Morton Salt Company, Blue Team of Louisiana; OCi Wyoming L.P., OCi Blue of Wyoming; General Chemical Soda Ash Partners, General Chemical Blue of Wyoming; General Chemical Soda Ash Partners, General Chemical Black of Wyoming.

      First aid: General Chemical Soda Ash Partners, General Chemical Blue of Wyoming; Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc., Barrick Gold of Nevada; IMC Potash, Responders of New Mexico; Washington TRU-Solutions, WIPP Blue of New Mexico; Intrepid Mining NM LLC, Intrepid Mine Rescue of New Mexico and Solvay Chemical Inc., Solvay Silver Team of Wyoming.

      Benchman BG-4: Maclane Barton, Lafarge North America of Missouri; Curtis Sanders, Washington TRU-Solutions (silver) of New Mexico; Robert Robison, FMC Corp. (white) of Wyoming; Scott Brown, Solvay Chemical Inc. (silver) of Wyoming and Rod Knight, FMC Corp. (red) of Wyoming.

      Benchman BG-174A: Garry Moore Jr., The Doe Run Co. (gray) of Missouri; Rickey Martin, The Doe Run Co. (maroon) of Missouri and Walt Bryant Jr., Morton Salt of Texas.

      Benchman BioPak: Rod Christensen, Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc. of Nevada and Tom Senecal, Newmont Mining Corp. of Nevada.

      Multi-gas instrument: Rick Owens, FMC Corp. (red) of Wyoming; Wade Broussard, Cargill Deicing Technology of Ohio; Bill Mehle, OCi Wyoming L.P. (blue) of Wyoming; Geoff Parker, Hecla Mining Co. of Idaho; Greg Sensibaugh, Washington TRU-Solutions (silver) of New Mexico; Mike Pond, OCi Wyoming L.P., (white) of Wyoming.

      United States Mine Rescue Association