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Ruff Creek Campus 197 Dunn Station Road Suite 100
The Mining Technology and Training Center is committed to provide the best training possible for all employees of the mining industry.
We shall provide extensive safety training for new inexperienced miners.
We shall work to improve the skills of the
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"Since his call at 7 a.m., ...
"Since his call at 7 a.m., which was three hours ago, we have not heard from him," Marlon Whoolery told the men.
For Mr. Whoolery, the training director at the Mine Technology and Training Center, it's just another worst-case scenario of his choosing.
Far from endangering the men, the retired miner of 20 years was testing their wit and skill on a state-of-the-art training ground: an above-ground simulator of an underground mine, complete with smoke machines, black tarps and chunky gravel.
Companies that operate mines in the area -- including Alpha Natural Resources, Consol Energy Inc., Arch Coal Inc. and Murray Energy Corp.
-- regularly bring crews to train, Mr. Whoolery
"Some [companies] just do the bare minimum; they train to the rule," Mr. Whoolery
Waynesburg Area Chamber of Commerce: Member Services Directory
Marlon Whoolery, Training Director
197 Dunn Station Road
Prosperity, PA 15329
"This was called mine rescue skills ...
"This was called mine rescue skills training," said Marlon Whoolery, training director at the MTTC.
"The teams learn skills they would have to do in an actual event, like firefighting, exploration and mapping and smoke mine rescue field problems and benching of apparatuses," Whoolery said.
In this particular scenario, Consol's
Enlow Fork Green team had to find three miners trapped after an explosion.
explained the rescue team had to explore the mine, rescue any survivors and recover the bodies.
"Their job is to explore the mine, ventilate the mine and bring them out," he
"The benefit here is that these teams will experience what they will actually do in a real emergency," Whoolery
agreed, saying the value of the facility is not just to train mine rescue teams, but the inexperienced miner for the industry as well.
"There is no certification law in Pennsylvania other than you have to have a year in before becoming a certified miner," he
To start in a mine, he
said, one has to meet the federal Mine Safety Health Administration requirements of 40 hours of training - 32 hours in a classroom and eight hours underground," he
"Here, we incorporate all the facilities.
We have them fight a fire; we have them work in smoke; and walk the life line.
We give them a lot," he
said new miners get about 40 hours in the classroom and 40 hours of hands-on training and that is the most important, he
"It's one thing to sit in a classroom and another to actually have to do it.
We put them in our smoke mine and fill it full of smoke and tell them there is a fire and they have to get out," Whoolery
"They have to find the rescuers, take the life line and get out of the mine," he
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Taseko Mines Ltd (TKO) | Resource Clips
Marlon Whoolery, training director at the Pennsylvania- and West Virginia-based Mining Technology and Training Center, says American mining companies bear the brunt of training new employees.