of southwestern Wyoming explains, “Industries work hard to prevent emergencies, but if a major accident were to happen nearby, Sweetwater County has the best mine rescue teams in the nation ready to respond. Local teams ruled at a national competition in Kentucky from July 23-26, perhaps signaling a return to the local tradition of countrywide dominance.”

“Forty-two teams from 16 states challenged one another in three major categories including field, first aid and technician team.”

The Competition

“During the Mine Rescue Field Competition, in a “simulated mine, the rescue team completes numerous tasks, according to the United States Department of Labor. These tasks include assessing air conditions, quality and flow; establishing temporary ventilation controls; structural examinations and corrections; eliminating possible ignition sources; marking the travel route; searching for survivors; and mapping and reporting all findings to the fresh air base.”

On the first day, each participant has one hour to finish a written test. The second day, teams are placed in isolation until it’s time to compete, secluded from electronic devices and outside contact. The field competition occurs on day three and consists of solving problems involving a mine accident while being timed and observed by judges. On the fourth day, three members of each team are chosen for the first-aid competition which focuses on scenarios requiring the stabilization and transportation of victims.

The Winners

“Sweetwater County teams placed first in two of the three categories and earned top finishes in every division.


  • Field competition: National champion, Genesis Blue; third place, Ciner White; fourth place, Ciner Blue.
  • Drager BG-4 Technician Team: National champion, Genesis Teal; second place, Ciner Blue; third place, Ciner White.
  • First aid: Third place, Ciner Blue; sixth place, Solvay Blue.
  • Overall Champion: Ciner Blue, for the lowest combined discounts the three categories.”

“Ciner Blue captain Kael Brady said his team has been experiencing a rebuilding year, so expectations weren’t all that high going into nationals. “Everyone underestimated us, since we were a new team,” Brady said.

Rather than let that intimidate them, they used it for motivation. “We knew that we had the potential, but weren’t sure it would all work out. We trained hard and studied and did all we could,” he said.”

This dedication paid off. Ciner Wyoming’s “Blue Team” earned the highest cumulative score in the national Mine Safety and Health Administration’s annual Metal/Non-Metal Mine Rescue Contest to become the 2018 Overall Mine Rescue Champion.

Source: Romero, L. (2018, August 11). Not Just A Rivalry. Retrieved from