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September 17, 2009

Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals Receives Federal Funds to Aid Mine Rescue Team Training
$50,000 grant will help develop training DVD’s and online material

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), is among six organizations nationwide that will receive grant funding from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MHSA) this year. 

The Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals (OMM) has been awarded $50,000 and will use the funding  to develop a series of three training videos that will address various facets of initial mine rescue team training.  The videos will cover the use, care and maintenance of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), the roles and responsibilities of mine rescue team members and a summarized version of a mine rescue seminar. 

“We believe that initial training for mine rescue is similar to training for newly hired miners.  Just as training videos can increase a newly hired employee’s comprehension of what is involved in working underground, the same can be achieved by including this tool in initial mine rescue instruction,” said Illinois OMM Director Joe Angleton.

The Brookwood-Sago grants program was established through a provision in the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006.  Funding will target the development and implementation of training and training materials for mine emergency preparedness and haulage safety.
The IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals is one of two Illinois organizations to receive Brookwood-Sago grant funding this year.  Rend Lake College in Ina, IL was awarded $50,000 for the re-establishment of its coal miner training program in southern Illinois.

The Office of Mines and Minerals will be working cooperatively with Rend Lake College on a full mine rescue training seminar in early 2010.

The Brookwood-Sago grants were named in remembrance of the 13 men who died in two explosions at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine in Brookwood, Ala., in 2001 and 12 men who died in an explosion at the Sago Mine in Buchannon, W.Va., in 2006.



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