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7th Annual Mine Rescue & Skills Competition on Tap at Southern Illinois College



June 7, 2018 - The seventh annual Mine Rescue & Skills Competition is coming to Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) June 12 and 13, hosted by SIC and partner Illinois Eastern Community Colleges.

More than 80 coal miners from around the region will 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," said Ben Ross, career and technical education coordinator at SIC.


The Wildcat Hills Team from Equality examines a "miner down" during a first-aid exercise at the 2017 Mine Rescue and Skills Competition at SIC 

Photo courtesy of SIC

"These teams are both local, regional and come as far as 120 miles away."

Teams competing on June 12 are: Foresight Energy from Viking-Mach Mine in Marion; Foresight Energy MaRyan Mine in Carlinville; Hamilton County Coal Mine in Dahlgren, Illinois; Gateway North Mine in Coulterville; Prairie State Lively Grove Mine in Marissa and Knight Hawk Coal in Percy.

Competing June 13, are: Sunrise Coal in Oaktown, Indiana; Foresight Energy from Viking Mach Mine in Marion; Foresight Energy MaRyan Mine in Carlinville; Indiana Bureau of Mines in Vincennes, Indiana; Peabody Francisco Mine in Owensville, Indiana; and Peabody Wildcat Mine in Equality.

The event has 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.


Last year's Grand Champion team, Foresight Energy-Blue of MaRyan Mining, LLC in Dorchester, heads into the smoky darkness with zero visibility to investigate a simulated mine emergency on day two of the 2017 Mine Rescue and Skills Competition at SIC 

Photo courtesy of SIC

Trophies will be awarded each day to the top three teams. 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.

Judges for the competition are officials from Illinois Eastern Community Colleges -- which administers all coal mining classes offered at SIC -- plus the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Office of Mines and Minerals, the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Volunteers from SIC will all serve as guides.

Visitors are welcome to watch the competition, but are advised to stay back from the active competition areas.

The competition will run 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Rules, registration information and past winners can be found at


For details, call Ben Ross at (618) 252-5400, ext. 2248. - Your Foremost Source for Coal News