ABINGDON, Va., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR), a leading U.S. coal producer, today announced that the "Blue" team from Rockspring Development, Inc. (Rockspring), operator of the Rockspring mine near East Lynn, W.Va., and the "White" team from Kingston Mining, Inc. (Kingston), operator of the Kingston mine in Fayette County, W.Va., each won their respective divisions in the first Nationwide Mine Rescue Skills Competition held on Oct. 5 and 6 at the Mining Technology and Training Center in Ruff Creek, Pennsylvania. The event concentrated on skills needed to rescue miners trapped underground or injured miners in smoky and fiery conditions. The Kingston White team also won first place in the First Aid competition for Division 1.
Division 1 competition included teams with less than three years of experience, while Division 2 was for experienced teams. Both teams participated in regional competition in May at the Mine Safety and Health Administration's Academy near Beckley, W.Va., earning the right to participate in the national event.
Mine rescue skills competition includes, among other skills, administering first aid, taking accurate gas readings, fighting fire, navigating and working under breathing apparatus in reduced visibility (smoke or dust), and working through a traditional simulated mine rescue field problem.
Mark Schuerger, head of the Northern West Virginia business unit of Alpha, said, "We are very pleased that the Rockspring and Kingston teams were recognized and rewarded for their superior performance at the competition. Each member of these teams has trained hard to be ready to excel should the team be called upon to deploy for a rescue situation. Experience has taught us that having teams compete in mine rescue contests is an efficient way to conduct advanced readiness training."
Alpha-affiliated teams from Greene County, Pennsylvania also scored well in the competition. The Cumberland Coal Resources, LP team (Cumberland-JC) placed second in the Division 2 Mine Rescue Skills Competition and the Emerald Coal Resources, LP "Blue" team won the Division 2 First Aid competition.
Kurt Kost, Alpha's president, said, "The 15 mine rescue teams from Alpha's affiliated companies consistently excel in mine rescue competitions, and their recognition in national competition is gratifying. Their efforts really highlight our organization's excellent safety culture and performance. We are dedicated to the relentless pursuit of an injury-free workplace, and the excellent performance of the teams in several competitions this year demonstrates our affiliates' preparedness and Running Right commitment. Thank you to all team members for your hard work and dedication to safety."
About Alpha Natural Resources
Alpha Natural Resources is one of America's premier coal suppliers with affiliate coal production capacity of more than 90 million tons a year. Alpha is the nation's leading supplier and exporter of metallurgical coal used in the steel-making process and is a major supplier of thermal coal to electric utilities and manufacturing industries across the country. The company, through its affiliates, employs approximately 6,400 people and operates more than 60 mines and 14 coal preparation facilities in the regions of Northern and Central Appalachia and the Powder River Basin. More information about Alpha can be found on the company's Web site at www.alphanr.com.
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SOURCE Alpha Natural Resources