Mines’ underground safety experts train elite U.S. Army soldiers

GOLDEN, Colo., June 18, 2013 – Members of the U.S. Army’s elite 911th Technical Rescue Engineer Company are currently training in the Underground Search and Rescue course through Colorado School of Mines’ Mine Safety and Health Program.

The Army has participated in this Mines program since 2002. Some of the course content includes:

  • Two days of introductory underground search and rescue problems developing team skills in recognizing hazardous conditions, eliminating hazards, and installing underground ventilation controls to provide an acceptable underground facility atmosphere for human survival
  • Three days of advanced search and rescue team problem resolution in a physically demanding underground setting
  • An exercise requiring the lifting of heavy objects to recover or free trapped victims
  • Vertical rope rescue exercises

On June 19, the group will participate in fire fighting and burning building exercises at the City of Black Hawk’s fire training facility. Participants will learn fire behavior, fire suppression, and rescue techniques – including the challenging ‘Denver Drill’ confined space extraction and rescues through the roof of a structure on fire. The City of Black Hawk’s training facilities include a burn building and underground confined space channel 18” in diameter. The City of Black Hawk routinely hosts training exercises for Mines, mining companies across the southwest, the U.S. Army and other governmental agencies.

From June 24-27, the soldiers will also learn search and rescue techniques in the university’s educational mine located in Idaho Springs, Colo. The Edgar Experimental Mine is a unique facility used for training, education, and research in use for nearly 95 years. With more than two miles of maintained workings and multiple operating environments, the mine possesses both underground and surface classrooms, mine rescue facilities, advanced communications and ventilation systems, and a state of the art explosives training and research laboratory.


Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations, Colorado School of Mines / 303-273-3541 / KGilbert@mines.edu

Melissa Greiner, Assistant to the City Manager for Administration, City of Black Hawk / 303-582-2292 / MGreiner@cityofblackhawk.org