Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 31 > Page 54 - Serving on the Mine Rescue Team

Page 54 - Serving on the Mine Rescue Team

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/6/1 (224 reads)

yourself or motivate yourself, because I think that if you didn't, I think you'd never get out of the rescue station, be? cause you'd be rejected. Your pressure'd go up, and your nerves would be bad. I think we got off at 10, We're all hooked up, except we didn't have the oxygen on. The first thing we do, we explore. We're walking. We're all together (both teams) until we hit dense smoke. We hit the heat and smoke when we opened the door on 10 South level, I think it was the return. Our captain gave us the signal--all sig? nals are done by a horn--we hooked up. We're checked out. He checked us out him? self personally. And we had a vice-captain, he checked us out. And we check out our? selves, all the gear, make sure that we can proceed in this atmosphere--it's full of toxic gases. We knew what to expect. And during this exploration, we're checked out, I'd say about every 6 minutes. To make sure that everything is working me? chanically, and how every man feels. And we had to determine how long will we be in there. The breathing apparatus is up to two hours, but we had to figure possible 3/4 of an hour to travel in there, 3/4 to get out, so we've got to set our watches. But we don't use up any endurance by talk? ing or walking at a fast pace, I think by going slowly you can observe what's happen? ing, and you absorb the knowledge, and this all helps to help to fight this kind of a situation. Our fresh air base was es? tablished outside the doors, on the level. I'd say it was about 500 to 600 feet--the fresh air base. We left the standby team there. Then the gases were checked out-- the captain has all the readings, the dif? ferent apparatus to detect different types of gases--the heat, how far we could trav? el at the time, the conditions in the lev? el- -like the heat at that time had bent the 10-, 12-foot steel booms, most of them. Then we encountered different falls that we had to caution ourselves. We had to go around them. And we had to make sure that everything was safe to travel. We went as far as we could to check. The heat got too severe at the time. And we couldn't see the fire. So the heat was terrific. And we noticed that possibly there were small explosions, because some of the pump motors seemed to be moved off of their stationary positions. A lot of the pipes were broken, there was a bad water condition. In some areas it was possibly knee high. So we returned at the time with this information and passed it on to the engineer standing by in the fresh air base with telephone communica? tions. We took off our gear at the fresh air base. Management decided which way pos? sibly this fire could be fought. But then it was a long endeavour. Mostly it was done by barricades to cut the oxygen off to the fire. This became daily routine work. First, we'd stone dust the area. Then we'd go in--we had all brass mallets and copper mallets. There was a high concentration of methane in the area where we were working, putting up cer? tain barricades, and we didn't want to make a spark. The barricade itself, it's made out of mostly stone dust, well packed in. And they have mortar that will cover the area, cut off most of the air. We had to do some sawing. We're building a wall, it's definitely a wall. Paste over it tight as possible at both ends. And you've got to work with a lot of caution, because if you did start a spark or a fire, it would cause an explosion. At that time I think we built about 5 in different areas. A GENIUS AT WORK IMAGES OF ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL Dorothy Harley Eber Prologue by R. Buckminster Fuller WARM AND NOSTALGIC REMINISC ENCES OF THE MAN BEHIND THE INVENTIONS , , , Based on oral interviews, familyjournals, diaries and letters, this is an engaging, informal account of Alexander Graham Bell as he was known to the people who shared his summers and his in? ventions on Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island. Delightful photographs and a fascinating text throw new light on the character of this exuberant and often eccentric genius. Illustrated. 160 pp. $22.50 AVAILABLE AT BOOKSTORES EVERYWHERE. McClelland & stewart/the Canadian publishers 25 BOLLINGER ROAD, TORONTO M4B 3G2 ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. (54)
Cape Breton's Magazine
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