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30th Annual Mine Rescue Contest
>>LES THOMAS: These guys take what they do seriously. They know each other well. They know their families, and it is a brotherhood. And uh, and being the thirtieth year, it's, it's a milestone. Um, with technology changing every day, things, things are different than what they were. Some of these guys have been on these teams their entire careers as young men and now are taking leadership roles on these teams and leading the younger generation on, on the proper techniques and how important it is um, so, so being able to have this here on this property for thirty years is a testament to the, to the dedication, the effort that everybody puts in. It's really important. The teams work on possible scenarios; things that they think could happen if they were called into action and, and, and it allows them to be as prepared as possible for, for any situation um, so routinely they put together scenarios and then they work that scenario um, with the one main priority, saving the miner's life.
>>ROBERT MEIER: It's kind of nerve wracking because you don't know uh, what you're going to encounter once you get under there. There's a lot of stuff to remember. A lot of supplies to make sure you have uh, just a lot of stuff. Uh, the apparatuses you got to make sure that they are all good to go. That you're not going to have a problem with them. So a lot of time goes into the whole uh, preparation so when it's actually time, you know, to do, to participate in the competition. Uh, it's pretty stressful but it is pretty fun as well.
>>LES: We're a little unique here at S&T here at the experimental mine because the problem that these teams actually work on while they're here is in a mine. Um, that's unique to the state of Missouri. Um, a lot of times the, the uh, the problem or the scenario that we have the teams working on is out in the middle of the field and it's roped off, and, and the teams are good enough to prepare in that situation as well, but we're unique here in, in terms of actually having an underground property to use.
>>ASHLEY NUHN: I think it's important because it helps train-well for students it's important because it helps train us for what we're going to be doing in industry if we're going to be on a mine rescue team when we get a real job, then it's going to prepare us for that and it's also very important to have a well-trained mine rescue team at every mine.
>>LES THOMAS: Missouri in the past twenty years, we've lost about fifteen miners, normally about two miners per year. Fifteen since uh, since 2000. No fatalities since June of '09. Uh, we're extremely proud of that. It's, it's due in part because of the training and education that our miners receive and that we give but the miners themselves; the, the culture is different today than it was years ago. Um, our miners have figured out um, how to do their jobs extremely well and how to do it safe. Um, so all the credit ultimately goes to these guys for making the right choices when they're on the job, and uh, we're proud of that. We're proud of our miners and, and the choices they are making.