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Frequently Asked Questions about the Mine Rescue Team Training Agreement


What is the Mine Rescue Team Training Agreement (MRTTA)? 
The MRTTA is a contract between the mine operator and the Department of Environmental Protection for mine rescue related services and training.

What is the purpose of this agreement? 
The MRTTA is provided to assist operators in the compliance with Title 30, CFR, Part 49. This is accomplished through the mine rescue training provided to the operators' designated team members, and the maintenance of mine rescue stations and equipment.

Through this agreement, DEP also provides notification services for team members to respond to declared emergencies.

Who is eligible to participate in the MRTTA? 
Generally, any operator with underground mining operations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may participate. While this program was intended to assist the "small mine" operator, the program is available to larger operations as well.

How many employees must an operator provide to be trained? 
Anthracite Coal - AUGR, Inc. agrees to provide 14 team members. Must have at least three years undergorund experience.  Always must maintain 12 team members minimum. 
Bituminous Coal - Underground operators are required to provide one employee for every 36 underground employees and two employees for 37 or more. Must have at least three years underground experience.  Always must maintain 12 team members minimum. 
Industrial Minerals - One employee per underground mine or one per 25 underground employees.  Must have at least one year underground experience. Due to the small number of mining operations in the commonwealth, additional personnel may be requested to maintain a minimum of twelve team members. Always must maintain 12 team members minimum.

Where is the mine rescue training conducted? 
The Bureau of Mine Safety provides training at four mine rescue stations: New Stanton, Ebensburg, Marion Center, and Tremont. 
Underground training is also conducted at participating mine operator’s facilities.

What equipment is the employer/employee required to provide? 
The individuals trained are required to dress for the prevailing weather conditions, and bring with them articles such as safety shoes, hat, and miners belt. All other equipment is provided by the commonwealth. 
As stated in the MRTTA ... the operator shall provide personal protection equipment to each designated trainee.

Mine Emergencies

What is the definition of a mine emergency? 
This is the dictionary definition. 
e•mer•gen•cy (î-mûr¹jen-sê)noun 
  1. A serious situation or occurrence that happens unexpectedly and demands immediate action.
  2. A condition of urgent need for action or assistance: a state of emergency; a voice full of emergency.

For use during emergencies: emergency food rations.

(As defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

What is the mine operators requirement pertaining to reporting incidents to DEP? 
Mine operators are required to report all serious accidents to the Bureau of Mine Safety. This includes, but is not limited to fatalities or serious personal injury accidents, ignitions, fires, explosions, inundations of water or gas, and entrapments. Operators are encouraged to consult with their mine inspector for further clarity on this subject.

How does the operator report incidents to the DEP? 
Mine operators can also report to our New Stanton or Pottsville offices during normal working hours (except observed holidays), or to their mine inspector.

Notification Procedures

After the "Declaration of Emergency" and notification to the DEP, how will mine rescue team members be notified? 
Immediately after being notified of an emergency requiring mine rescue services, BMS management will notify pre-assigned personnel to begin contacting individual mine rescue team members to respond. Calls will be placed to either the individuals themselves or to the company liaisons. The individuals assigned have been instructed to use good judgement when placing calls considering the time of day to reduce the amount of delay in contacting personnel.

Who in DEP will do this notification of mine rescue team members? 
The following BMS personnel have been pre-assigned to notify mine rescue team members: 
Managers, supervisors, training instructors, and clerical personnel.

Where would the person(s) conducting this notification call to most quickly notify team members? 
Where to call will be dictated on the time of day. During normal working hours, the company liaison would be most likely to quickly pass on the information. After normal working hours, the best place to call would be the individuals' residence. BMS maintains a list of work and home telephone numbers for all persons participating in the program.

What is the chain-of-command in the notification scenario? 
Calls received by "Emergency Response" are delivered to BMS in the order of Bureau Director, Division Chiefs, and Training and Emergency Response Section Chief. After the message is delivered to the Bureau, additional calls are made by the persons above to dispatch rescue equipment and personnel to the affected mine. This also would include contacting persons to notify mine rescue teams members for incidents requiring their services.

What general instructions have BMS employees been given regarding the general subject of team notification? 
Personnel assigned to contact individual mine rescue team members have been instructed to attempt contact at either the home or place of work of the desired individual (or company liaison). Once contact is made, the party receiving the call will be instructed about the location and nature of the incident, and that they are to respond immediately. A log will be be kept of all calls attempted showing their outcome. Following these calls, the assigning BMS manager will be re-contacted and given a status report of the outcome.

How many BMS employees have been included to participate in the notification of team members? 
As stated above, personnel employed in the groups included presently number 10.

What materials have been provided to the persons who will do the notification of team members? 
Each individual included will be issued two sets of the following: mine rescue team telephone listing, BMS staff telephone listing, mine operators telephone listing, and mapped travel directions for each underground mine.

What management controls are there to determine who has or has not been notified? 
At the conclusion of the telephone canvassing, the assigning BMS manager will be re-contacted and provided with a status report. Further instruction will be given at that time.

How often will the telephone lists be updated and circulated to participating BMS staff? 
The telephone lists are updated real time as the emergency response instructors update the team members.

What documents can be downloaded from the BMS website pertaining to the MRTTA? 
All related documents pertaining to the MRTTA can be found at the BMS website. This includes the agreement and its amendment, as well as the instructions for their completion.

What is the file format of the files included at the BMS website? 
Files which are downloadable from this website are in the following formats: Adobe portable document format (pdf), Microsoft Word (doc), Pkzip (zip), and Microsoft PowerPoint (ppt). Additionally, there are application files (exe). Graphics used are either gif or jpg.

Who can I call for information not included here? 
Any additional questions can be forwarded to Dustin Mowery Telephone 724-404-3146.