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    Thumbs up Mine Rescue Team formed!Kentucky

    Eastwood firefighters volunteer for mine rescues near Louisville
    Area has about 15 non-coal operations

    By Darhiana M. Mateo
    dmateo@courier-journal.com
    The Courier-Journal


    More than 20 Eastwood firefighters have volunteered for a mine-rescue team that will serve Central Kentucky.

    The region isn't known for its mines, but there are about 15 non-coal underground operations within two hours of Louisville, producing material such as limestone.

    Until yesterday, there was no mine rescue team in Louisville.

    But recent mining accidents in West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky "opened a lot of eyes about the need for funding and better equipment," said Brian Davenport, chief of the Eastwood Fire Department.

    And federal mining regulations require that there be at least two mine rescue teams, each with five members and one alternate, available at all times within two hours of any underground mine.

    The rescue team was unveiled yesterday afternoon during a press conference at the Eastwood department. The state is providing $150,000 to cover the team's training and equipment.

    The Central Kentucky Mine Rescue Association -- with representatives from 10 mines in the region -- will pay the expenses of any rescue missions.

    Ed Elliott, president of the association, doesn't want to lose any time. "Our objective is to have the team trained and ready to go on rescues within the next 30 to 60 days."

    Putting together a successful mine rescue team requires significant training and cost, he said. The 23 volunteers will undergo 30 hours of classroom training and 40 hours of field training.

    "They have to have the training and they have to be ready to go within a moment's notice," he said. "They're professionals at what they do -- most mine rescue teams are miners who are thrust into that part from time to time."

    The team also will be able to assist in coal mine rescues if needed, Davenport said.

    Mike Hope, one of the Eastwood firefighters on the team, explained why he volunteered.

    "Someone needs to go in there. And if I was in there, I would want someone to come after me."
    Last edited by coldfront; 06-04-2006 at 08:26 PM.
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    Way to step up to the challenge gentlemen. I wish you all luck in your training and should the day come where you have to put your training to the test, I hope that you perform well.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

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