Coal miners from several states are in eastern Kentucky this week.
They're in Perry County testing their skills at the Mine Safety and Health Administration's Rescue Contest.
They are a lifeline to miners trapped in an emergency underground.
Rescuers from around the country brushed up on their skills in a race against time.
Seventeen coal mining rescue teams from six different states are here in eastern Kentucky with one thing on their mind - safety inside the mine.
The courses, set-up at the Hazard Little League Baseball Fields, simulate underground coal mines.
Teams are given a different emergency situation and must properly ventilate areas of the mine, safely rescue trapped miners and get everyone out in time.
“Need to stay cool under pressure. Just know where you're going, take it easy, listen to your teammates and work together and know where you need to go. what you need to do,” Jack Foster said.
Although this is a competition, it's not about winning the rescuers say it's about being prepared for a real-life disaster.
This extra practice helps miners, their families and owners of coal mines rest easier when lives are on the line.
By law, mine rescue teams are required to train at least twice a year.
Many of the teams participate in rescue contests to get more experience beyond what's mandated.