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Kentucky Coal Academy (KCA) and Madisonville Community College (MCC) Mine Rescue Team Member David Mackey recently finished first in two preshift competitions that were part of the West Kentucky Mining Institute (WKMI) Safety Days Contest and placed second in the Indiana State Preshift Contest.

Mackey, of KenAmerican Resources, Inc. s Paradise Mine, competed May 25-26 in the WKMI Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Preshift Contest, held at MCC s Mine Emergency Response Academy in Madisonville for the first time. The preshift event, featured 17 contestants from three states, and Mackey was awarded first place in both the Kentucky State Law and Mine Safety and Health Administration Federal Law contests.

During a preshift contest, individuals first take a written exam and then navigate through a field that resembles an underground mine to demonstrate expertise in recognizing potential hazards that must be routinely checked before the start of a typical shift. Some of the dangers present may include communication system problems, unsafe roof and ventilation conditions, harmful gases, availability of rescue equipment and more.

I just appreciate, and look forward to, the opportunity to compete in these types of events, said Mackey. I want to make sure I m prepared to be there for my fellow miners, my family, when they need me, especially in any kind of emergency situation.

The KCA s Mine Rescue program, which operates out of MCC, is made up of individuals working in western Kentucky area coal mines operated by Armstrong Coal Company, Inc.; KenAmerican Resources, Inc.; Pennyrile Energy LLC; and Thoroughfare Mining LLC.

I continue to be impressed with [David] Mackey s commitment to his profession, team and community, said Danny Knott, Mine Rescue director. I m proud of our entire Mine Rescue Team, and I believe these competitions are crucial because they allow miners to continually test and improve their emergency preparedness skills by working as individuals, and as a team.

For more information about the KCA s programs and services, connect with us at, and Twitter @KyCoalAcademy.