Mine competition a first for Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Command Central is the heart of the mine emergency operation that relies on sophisticated communications systems to ensure safety.

There’s a monitor that keeps track of the miners every move by utilizing cameras and a combination of wireless and other tracking devices.

Heritage Hall in downtown Lexington offers up enough space for mine rescue teams from across the country to compete in 75-minute long drills that take them through real-life emergency scenarios.

While the city's hosted coal mine rescue competitions here before, this is the first year for Metal and Nonmetal mines.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there have been more coal mine disasters than Metal and Nonmetal mine disasters.

Still, Michael Davis with the Mine Safety and Health Administration, says the worst can happen and it's important to prepare for that chance as miniscule as it may be.

"It's to challenge them, it's to get their blood level up, it's competition,” said Davis. “It's the closest thing we can provide as far as the real thing. This is as close as we can get."

The mine rescue contest goes through Thursday, culminating with a first-aid competition.

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