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Mine training center opens in Harrison County

Ohio's 2,500 coal miners, and their families, are relying on a new training facility in Harrison County. It opened this week, and it will prepare mine rescue teams to aid the men and women in emergency situations.

Ohio's 2,500 coal miners, and their families, are relying on a new training facility in Harrison County.

It opened this week, and it will prepare mine rescue teams to aid the men and women in emergency situations.

The 13,500 square-foot training center is located on Industrial Park Road, across the street from the old training facility.

“It's a little more lifelike,” said Lanny Erdos, chief, Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “It simulates underground little better than the facility we had before. The ground is much more like an underground line. The pillars are much more like the pillars in an underground mine.”

Just like they would underground, the team is tethered together as it searches the mine.

The equipment is real. Re-breathers, as they're called, recycle the oxygen they exhale, so it can be inhaled again.

Placards mark hazards were rescuers would encounter as they search for trapped miners.

Every scenario is different, for the ones they want to simulate fire, Hollywood-grade smoke is used.

“Obviously it's very inherently dangerous,” Erdos said. “However with that being said, Ohio, the U.S., is one of the safest places to work in the mining environment, especially in underground mines.”

Ohio mine rescue teams will train at the facility, ensuring they’re prepared for whatever tomorrow brings.

“We've had a lot of positive feedback relative to what we put together for the miners,” Erdos said. “We’re very supportive of what they do; we're very supportive of mine safety, and we're going to be here to provide the training that they need moving into the future.”

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