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Mine Rescue Day celebrates those members of the community who stay ready for an emergency through participation in training and contests that keep them in top shape for making sure everyone is located, rescued and recovered safely. 

History of Mine Rescue Day

In 2013, Mine Rescue Day was established by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The purpose of the day is to recognize and show appreciation for the sacrifice and dedication that is regularly made by the volunteers who put their own lives at risk in order to save the lives of others who work in the mines.

The date of October 30 was chosen in honor of the first mine rescue demonstration that took place in 1911 in Pittsburgh under the direction of the first director of the US Bureau of Mines. Even US President William Howard Taft attended this event.

Various types of dangerous situations can occur when people are working in the mines, whether coal, metal, or nonmetal mines. Mine workers can be trapped inside the mines in a number of ways, including fire, harmful gasses, flooding, roof falling, and explosions.

Of course, no one wants these types of situations to take place, but it is important to be ready to respond if they do. In this case, trained local community members will be called upon to help out by performing rescue services. Today, over 250 mine rescue teams in the US are equipped and certified to perform mine rescues. And Mine Rescue Day is a great time to celebrate them!

How to Celebrate Mine Rescue Day

Get involved with observing Mine Rescue Day with a number of different ideas and plans, including some of these:

Thank a Mine Rescuer

Those folks who live in areas where mines function can take this opportunity on Mine Rescue Day to show appreciation for and thank some miners and mine rescuers. They work hard every day to do this difficult and dangerous job, and even just a small thank you can be a bright spot. Even better, a group of people from the local area could organize a Thank You event that is sponsored by the community.

Learn More About Mine Rescues 

One way to pay respect to those involved with Mine Rescue Day might be to learn a bit more about some of the most famous times when people have been rescued from dangerous circumstances in the mines. Consider some of these:

  • July 2002, Quecreek, Pennsylvania

    This rescue included nine coal miners and it took more than 77 hours for the MSHA, along with local and state rescuers, to bring all nine of the men to safety.

  • October 2010, Atacama Desert, Chile

    After a gold and copper mine collapsed on August 5, 33 workers were trapped underground at least 700 meters below the surface and it took 69 days to rescue all of them.

  • April 2010, China

    Following eight days of being trapped underground with flooding and no food or water, Chinese rescuers celebrated the release of more than 100 workers.

  • May 2006, Beaconsfield, Tasmania, Australia

    When an earthquake hit while miners were underground, one of seventeen workers died and fourteen were able to escape to the surface. The two remaining miners were caught underground for two weeks until they were rescued.

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