Page 62 - Serving on the Mine Rescue Team
ISSUE : Issue 31
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/6/1
and they fight with water and stone dust, trying to smother it. There's a supply of stone dust in all the mines for that pur? pose alone. It's right quick. In a 24-hour period we'd have about two sessions. We'd be in the mine, between travelling and eve? ry thing- -we'd be in the mine roughly three hours--so we'd have two 3-hours in 24 hours. One team come in and relieve you. (So there would always be someone with the fire.) Oh, definitely. Two teams travel together--one standing by and the other working. Then the other'd stand by. And this went on for a week. It got too hot and too much--and they de? cided they'd close it. When they close it, they cut all oxygen off. It should practic? ally go out. It was closed for a month or so and they shipped what they call dry ice from Montre? al, and we were ready. It came special train, and the minute it came, into the boxes and we shipped it down the mine and put it in where the fire was. There was a pipe into that (stopping) that you could put your machine on and measure the heat that was inside. So after about two months they opened the place out and put the dried ice in. We opened the stopping--there's a slide in practically every stopping. We o- pened that. We went in. There was no sign of fire there at that time. Everything was burnt black. So we put the dry ice in, piled it in. And then we closed everything off again. And it stood for another month. Well, that dry ice gives off carbon dioxide. If there's any oxygen in there, that kills it. So we opened it out after a month again, and everything was cool and no sign of fire or anything else. This carbon dioxide will go anywhere that air or water will go, find its way through. When we opened it up, we had our oxygen on. And the place was as sign of fire. So Number 12, they got everything ready and started to work a- gain. And Number 12 Colliery produced a lot of coal after that. And practically, while I was on the mine rescue, I can say that every fire or explo? sion, I was the first man that went in it-- I took the first team in. Gordon Whalen was on one of my teams. Gordon Whalen was on one of the teams the longest and hard? est walk that ever I had--when we opened 26 Colliery. 26 Colliery was closed for fire, and it was closed in the vicinity of two months. There were stoppings. There was no air whatsoever into the mine. And when we opened the mine, we took samples before we went in--there was 987o carbon monoxide and 2% air at the roof. It was solid carbon monoxide gas when we opened that. Well now, we had to travel a good mile with our machines into that solid gas. I had 4 fellows with me, 4 of a team--and if any one of those fellows had of got in trouble, we were all in trouble. But I had trained them for three days--and I mean trained them. Gave them lots of gas and lots of air and walked them miles down the railroads, hooked up solid with their gear--they couldn't get any outside air. So I was pretty sure of their machines, I was pretty sure of them. I knew I was going in there. I picked my own men. I picked two men from Sydney Mines crew and two men from here. I gave them everything I could possi? bly give them. They knew what they were go? ing into. So therefore, we had no trouble. We opened up 26. We broke the stoppings down. Then we had to go a mile to break the other stoppings to let the air start circu? lating. Then we had to come back. There was no way to come from the other side. The oth? er side, you were three miles under the o- cean--that's where 26 is. The shaft is right on the cliff, practically. And if any? thing would have happened when we were in, they would have had to send another crew in DO YOU WANT TO GO TO SEA? 1' Become an officer in the Canadian Coast Guard. The Canadian Coast Guard Fleet is the sea-going arm of the Ministry of Transport. Men and women from across Canada come to the Cana? dian Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia, to train as Navigation and Marine Engineering Of? ficers. We offer free tuition, room and board, and uni? forms, a training allowance and a guaranteed posi? tion as a Watchkeeping Officer in the Canadian Transport i • Canada '-';-_ Coast Guard ,1- Transports Canada Coast Guard Fleet upon graduation. There is a world wide shortage of marine person? nel , especially Marine Engineers. If you are interested in a challenging, well-paid career, send the Coupon today. Applications will be accepted until January 31 of the year of entry. (Minimum entrance requirements are grade 12 aca? demic with Math, Physics, English and one year of French in grades 9, 10, 11 or 12.) Garde c6ti're Canad'a! Registrar, Canadian Coast Guard College, P. 0. Box 3000, Sydney, N. S. BIP 6K7 Please send me ah information kit on the Transport Canada Coast Guard College. 1 Address Street City School Provi nee Apt. No. Postal Code Present Grade (62)
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