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FPSI hosts surface mining emergency response training

Fourteen teams from around the country were competing in this mining training and competition. Some have come from as far as Nevada.
Fourteen teams from around the country were competing in this mining training and competition. Some have come from as far as Nevada.(WCTV)
Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 3:35 PM EST
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By: Lanetra Bennett I Eyewitness News

February 27, 2020

GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) -- Florida has one of the only surface mining competitions in the southeast region.

The competition has been going on this week at the Florida Public Safety Institute in Gadsden County.

The Florida Mine Safety Program hosted the emergency response training and competition.

Over the past four days, those who do mining operations, as well as safety workers, have been testing and honing their skills across a wide range of realistic scenarios.

Fourteen teams from around the country were competing in this mining competition. Some have come from as far as Nevada.

In Thursday's scenario, miners rescued someone from their car. There had been an explosion. The victim was trapped inside and suffering from burns and bone fractures.

All of these simulated high pressure situations allow the groups of miners to tighten their skills, and be prepared in the event of a real emergency.

Mike Veater is with a team from Nashville, Tennessee.

"You practice it, it becomes a lot easier. If you do it every day, it's a natural reaction. You don't have to think about it. So, that's why we come down here and participate." Veater said.

The field training exercises focused on surface mining, which is anything above ground. Rescues usually include sand, gravel, phosphate, cement, limestone and rock.

The miners and emergency response workers were going over fire assessment and suppression, field rope and rescue, and a first aid refresher.

"The first thing you can do in an emergency is respond quickly, and capable, and fully trained and able to provide the assistance necessary. That's why this competition is so important," Patricia Silvey, the Deputy Secretary of Mine Safety and Health Administration, said.

This is the third year the training program has been held at the Florida Public Safety Institute.

The four-day session concluded with an awards banquet Thursday at 6 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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