Mine Rescue teams from Ill., Ind., Ky. and W.Va. Converge for SIC competition June 10-11

June 2, 2014


Rescue teams at area coal mines 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. Next week at Southeastern Illinois College, miners from around the region will converge for a happier display of those skills at the college’s third annual Mine Rescue competition, slated for June 10 and 11. 


This year’s Illinois teams include:  Pattiki-White County Coal, American Coal of Galatia, Gateway Mine, Knight Hawk Coal, White Oak Resources, Springfield Station, Prairie State Generating Company with Lively Grove Mine, Mach M Class & Viking State Team, and Wildcat Mine.


Out-of-state teams include Rock Spring Blue of West Virginia, Sstar/ Black Panther Mine of Indiana, and Kentucky Coal Academy.


The event features competitions in first aid scenarios, equipment use, burn tower search and rescue, field search and rescue, and fire suppression in the college’s state-of-the-art burn tunnel facility.  


Teams with the top three scores will be recognized each day, as well as an overall event winner that will be awarded on the final day. That team will qualify for national competition in October in Ruff Creek, Penn.


“Our skills competition continues to grow each year.  We have 13 teams competing this year over a two-day period, as compared with 10 teams last year,” said Karen Weiss, Southeastern’s Dean for Career and Technical Education. “We are pleased to be a part of this event again this year, and are thankful for the response and support that we have received over the last three years that we have been fortunate to host the event at SIC.  This is a great event for mine rescue teams, and is valuable hands-on skills training to prepare for potential underground emergencies.”


In addition to scores of volunteers from SIC, officials from Illinois Eastern Community Colleges – which administers all coal mining classes offered at SIC – as well as the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Mines and Minerals and the Mine Safety and Health Administration will all serve together as judges, guides and more to make this a successful event. 


Competition rules can be found at  For more information, contact Karen Weiss at 618-252-5400, ext. 2300.