Students participate in mine fire simulation

MORGANTOWN — It’s dark, smoke is surrounding you and it’s becoming hard to breathe. This scenario is one that can occur when a fire in a mine ignites.
With harmful chemicals being emitted and endless clouds of smoke diminishing depth perception, it can be scary. But Joshua Caldwell has been teaching the fundamentals of these types of situations for 10 years.
WVU’s Statler College is hosting Females in the Field this week, with Engineering Challenge Camps. The WVU Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies hosted almost 30 high school girls for the mine simulation activity. The campers learned where to use fire extinguishers in real-life situations, as well as simulations on how to put out a mine fire, along with fire safety and properly putting on equipment in emergency situations.
Caldwell, manager of the WVU Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies, said the program for the youth is the first year for their hands-on experience they had Monday afternoon.
“The basics that I wanted to teach the girls was just to give them an idea of what emergency preparedness training for miners is,” Caldwell said. “I think based on us having this tour here, being open to expose them to the positive aspects of mining — we want to show that we have fun, but we do abide by basic tenements and we stress that.”
Caldwell said the most important part of the training was having the girls participate by handling equipment and also learning the basics of how to use a fire extinguisher and other fire safety within the mines.

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