Page 56 - Serving on the Mine Rescue Team
ISSUE : Issue 31
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/6/1
self, I was just making a living. But I felt I'd like to expand it by being of some help. And I think there's no greater way you can help somebody, than to know more than the basics about mining. So I was obviously encouraged deep within to help somebody else, and the only way I could do this is by having this training behind me. (Did you ever experience fear down there, doing that work?) Well, let's put it this way: yeah, I experienced fear, but not e- nough to offset what I absorbed during my training and my conditioning. I always had self-confidence in myself. And I never had that much fear that I didn't know what I was doing. The fear I had, made me more cautious. And not only that. Anything I ab? sorbed, it brought it out on me at my best. I figure this is how fear works on myself as an individual. It made me more cautious, and anything I absorbed during my learning process, it brought it out on me. It brought my best out. I'm not saying that to brag.. But I always felt tha.t it made me more cautious, and I was quite aware, and I was more alert. But I was never over-con? fident, and not fearless. But I always felt--this is not any part of the training program--but T felt that if I ever felt that the fear was overcoming anything I ev? er absorbed and learned, I'd quit. Because if you don't, you're jeopardizing your own life and others. You have a compassion toward your fellow miner. There's something there that's deep within you, that you'd have this compas? sion, that you want to help, you know. And I figured in order to help, I'd have to have training, because it would be disas? trous without it. But I had a thirst for the knowledge of mining, too, at the time, and I wanted to know more than the basics of mining. You're there, you're a miner. you're making a living--that's its limita? tions, eh? But I was wondering what's be? hind it all, how it all came about. And I figured the only way, with my limitations, my educational background, to get a brief? ing on it--mine rescue was the place. Gordon Whalen: Everything underground is dangerous, tKere's no doubt about it. Eve? ry job in the mine, there's a certain a- mount of danger. (And on top of that, you decided to become a member of the mine res? cue team. Why?) Well, I'd been in the air force, flying, and I'd used breathing ap? paratus, under oxygen, a lot. And I was just passing there one day, and I knew the guy, he was sitting by the rescue station-- it was a nice day--Stanley Scott. And I stopped and talked to him. There was still a lot of war talk around then, in '48, and he was asking me where I'd been, in what parts of Europe, and one thing and another. He went in the station for some reason, and I just happened to go in. I was look? ing at those machines, and I was asking him questions about them. And he answered them all. He said, "You're interested in this stuff--why don't you join the drager- men?"--that's what they called it then. I said, "Okay." Just like that. Couple weeks after, I got a note in my lamp to report to the rescue station on Saturday morning at 9 o'clock to begin training. And I did. So I'm with it ever since. Maybe you think that vzork is much more dan? gerous than I do. Would that be it, I won? der? (Now that's very good. I do conceive of it as being not only dangerous, but courageous. I'm thinking, for instance, of the fire in 1975.) The guys fighting that fire--there was no one ever, ever went through what they went through. They were in heat that burnt the hair off of their necks and off their hands, those dragermen, the mine rescue teams. And their breathing Cape Breton Bed and Breakfast Watch for BED AND BREAKFAST sign or contact Cape Breton Tourist Assn. for a list. Cape Breton's BED AND BREAKFAST program offers a unique and inter? esting experience in overnight ac? commodations. Every season those in the program, displaying the sign at left, open their doors to greet visitors with courtesy and warmth. (56) Hyland Restaurant Fully 1 |k jl ?? 1 Fully Licensed On'l |/|''T''I Licensed serving Cape Bretoners and their friends, offering good home cooking and seafood at its best. Inverness 258-3440 HOBBY HUT ' ' The Knitting & Craft Shop i 204 Commercial St., North Sydney, N. S. j'''?'['||w • Pure Wool & Synthetic Yarns '''''''''' • Knitting Needles & Patterns '''''_''' • Crewel & Needlepoint Canvases '''p''/' • Artists' Supplies "'' ?if*' . Locally Made Ceramics ' & Knitted Items Isle Royale Beverages Ltd. It's the reall Coke. Your authorized COCA-COLA bottler 564-8130 526-4439 245 Wei ton Street Sydney, N. S.
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