His day of work starts at 4am when the alarm goes off. He get up, get dressed in the dark, grabs his lunch backpack (that is covered in black). From there, he catches a boat. The 40 minute boat brings him to admaralty Island. Once the miners reach Admarilty, they ride a rickety old bus 13 miles to the mine site. He goes underground at 7am.
Into the long, dark hole in the ground where a crew of miners would eventually disperse into different drifts of the mine.
Being a modern day miner, you work with big pieces of equipment and drive them miles into the mine. There is equipment of all types. Bolters, Drillers, Muckers. Then you work with ventelation, that moves the air through the mine. You also work with explosives. In this age of mining, You don't find pebbles of ore, it's 28 ton truck loads of microscopic fragments, that eventually will be processed to be bricks of gold, silver, copper, ect.
During the shift, there is always a chance, that something could go wrong. There could be a ground fall. There could be a fire. There could be a large amount of gas that could cause an explosions (mainly in coal mines). Something could go wrong...and it's the people you work with. The people you have rode that boat with, and worked with for 12 hours a day, 14 days in a row that could be hurt. Which is why, mine rescue is an act of heroism.
Mine Rescue is a crew of employees that train for this. They train to rescue missing miners. They are trained to respond to every situation, and put their own lives on the line for others. Their moto is "First ones in, Last ones out." Why do they do it?
I had the opportunity to be the photographer for the Mine Rescue Competition in Juneau Alaska. There were 9 teams in attendance. Even 1 from Russia. At the end of the competition, I was honored to be part of such an amazing family of heros. Heroes that alot of people would pass by on a daily basis and not know that they were heroes. Well, here is my spin on Mine Rescue. Enjoy part 1.
The rest will be coming soon....