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Surface Rescue Team

The Surface Rescue Team has expanded its original intent, which was to provide rescue to a surface mine emergency. The team now responds to a number of surface related emergencies. The team is trained to extract an incapacitated individual from an elevated platform on a large coal shovel or dragline. Either before or after the extraction, the team also provides emergency medical attention. The skills of this team are also used for cliff rescue and to provide additional support for OMM's other emergency response teams.

Emergency Search Team

The Emergency Search Team (EST) is primarily used to locate survivors trapped in underground rescue situations. This twelve member team is made up of members from all divisions of the Office of Mines and Minerals. Each is trained in the use of seismic equipment, which is used to locate victims trapped underground. While underground mine rescue work was the original mission of the team, their expertise has become invaluable in locating all types of victims trapped in debris and rubble caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornados, fires or explosions. The team also is used for cave and cavern rescues.

Underground Mine Rescue Team

The Underground Mine Rescue Team is equipped and trained to respond to underground coal mine emergencies. Working from mine rescue stations in Benton and Springfield, the mine rescue teams train on a regular basis to respond to a variety of emergency situations. Each mine rescue station has two teams and each team is comprised of twelve members. Using the latest in equipment and technology to search and locate trapped miners, team members wear self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs) which enables the team to work in either an oxygen deficient or a noxious gas atmosphere. The rescue teams are involved in rescue and recovery operations that range from fighting and/or sealing underground mine fires to rescuing spelunkers in the caves of Southern Illinois. The teams also provide backup for underground limestone mines in Illinois and adjoining states.

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