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The Kentucky Coal Academy s Madisonville Community College (MCC) Mine Rescue Team recently placed second in day one of the fourth annual Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) Mine Rescue Skills Competition, held June 9-10 in Harrisburg, Illinois.

More than 100 individual competitors made up the 12 teams who took part in this event, facing challenges in first aid scenarios, equipment use, burn tower search and rescue, field search and rescue and fire suppression in SIC s state-of-the-art burn tunnel facility. Teams were honored at an awards ceremony at the conclusion of each day of competition.

"I'm extremely proud of the dedicated individuals who make up our mine rescue team and all of the individuals and teams who compete in these types of events," said Danny Knott, MCC Mine Rescue Team director. "We re more than just a team, we re a family committed to improving our skills and continuing to gain experience so we can be our best.

The MCC Mine Rescue Team is made up of individuals working in western Kentucky area coal mines and currently includes: Dean Sparks and Taber Tichenor, Kronos Mine; David Mackey and Tim Sigers, Paradise Mine; Troy Hobgood and Jacob Lee, Parkway Mine; Rob Boucher and Greg Gates, Riveredge Mine; and Terry Peveler and Chase Vance, Survant Mine.

We certainly hope our team never has to be in a situation where they must use emergency rescue skills, but it is something they have to be prepared for, said Gary Whisman, Kentucky Coal Academy executive director. These contests allow our team to get a sense of real-life situations that could happen at any given moment and will allow us to better serve our communities should an unfortunate incident occur.

The MCC Mine Rescue Team will next compete at the Kentucky Mining Institute Rescue Contest, to be held Aug. 18-21 in Lexington, Kentucky. For more information about the Kentucky Coal Academy s mine rescue services, please call (270) 824-1774 or (270) 871-0672.