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Some thoughts on the Chile Mine Rescue
November 17, 2010 - Michael Palmer
Initially I would like to acknowledge that it was Good Old Yankee Ingenuity and our great system of free enterprise that were primarily responsible for the rescue of the miners in Chile.
Just in case you missed this information in the news reports on the major networks, (LOL) let’s all take a moment to publicly congratulate the technology and ingenuity, born in the good old USA, for the miracle rescue of the Chilean Miners.
Quite an impressive list of United States based companies working together pulled off a miracle rescue of miners half a world away in South America. Schramm Inc. of West Chester, Pennsylvania built the drills and equipment used to reach the trapped miners. Center Rock Company, also from Pennsylvania , built the drill bits used to reach the miners. UPS, the US shipping company, delivered the 13-ton drilling equipment from Pennsylvania to Chile in less than 48 hours. Crews from Layne Christensen Company of Wichita Kansas and its subsidiary Geotec Boyles Bros. worked the drills and machinery to locate and reach the miners and then enlarge the holes to ultimately rescue them. Jeff Hart of Denver Colorado was called off his job drilling water wells for the U.S. Army's forward operating bases in Afghanistan to lead the drilling crew that reached the miners. Atlas Copco Construction Mining Company of Milwaukee , Wisconsin provided consulting on how to make drilling equipment from different sources work together under differing pressure specifications. Aries Central California Video of Fresno California designed the special cameras that were lowered nearly a mile into the ground sending back video of the miners. Zephyr Technologies of Annapolis Maryland , made the remote monitors of vital signs that miners wore during their ascent. NASA Engineers designed the " Phoenix " capsule that miners would be brought to the surface in, and provided medical consulting, special diets and spandex suits to maintain miners' blood pressure as they're brought back to the surface.
And also the Drilling Supply Co. in Houston provided equipment and support. Oh, and Canadian-based Precision Drilling Corp. and South-African company Murray & Roberts, drilled backup rescue shafts in case the American rig failed. Which it didn't.
Both of the other planned drill rescues failed, the plan devise by mining engineers from the United States using our equipment was the only one working for the ten days of the rescue effort.
Hats off to all of these companies, their employees and as a member of a mining family, it is a great comfort to know that all of these people are ready, willing and able to make another miracle happen if any of our miners are trapped.
National Mine Rescue is celebrating 100 years of training miners in safety, emergency response and rescue.
Disasters like the one in Chile emphasize the importance of mine rescue and mine rescue teams.
Like our volunteer fire fighters and so many other selfless individuals in our communities that provide assistance in times of need, their skills, determination, and their devotion to save lives comforts us every day.
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