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Colorado School of Mines mine rescue simulator

Mining Engineering , 2014, Vol. 66, No. 2, pp. 53-58

Geier, C.; Keogh, E.; Torma-Krajewski, J.


Previous mine incidents show weaknesses in mine rescue preparedness from poor training in decision making, leadership and incident command center (ICC) protocols. Computer simulations offer a larger range of training opportunities for mine rescue teams focusing on exploration and communications. The mine rescue simulator developed by the Colorado School of Mines and Rite Solutions Inc. utilizes four computers for the instructor and team, with the instructor monitoring the team’s progress. As the team explores, they relay information back to the Fresh Air Base, who then reports to the ICC. This forces a three-step communication procedure, enhancing the team’s overall communication skills and developing ICC protocols. The simulator is decision-based, demanding team decisions be made quickly. Upon completion, teams commented positively. Generally, participants said that the simulator is useful for learning how to communicate and make decisions during mine rescue emergencies. This mine rescue simulator improves team training, providing effective communications practice with an easy setup and no production interruption.