This past week, the Henderson Mine Rescue Team got called out for the first time in its existence. Five workers were trapped inside a pipe when the epoxy they were applying caught fire at a hydroelectric dam outside of Georgetown near Guanella Pass. This had nothing to do with the mine, but due to their training in rescue in confined spaces, they were called to the scene and quickly took over the rescue efforts. The mine rescuers worked diligently to get the fire out and then went in, only to find that the five workers had succumbed to the fumes.
Some of you may know that Wes has been in training to join the mine rescue team the past few months. Since he is still “in training” he was not called out, but he was deeply concerned for the safety of his co-workers on the operating teams. We really didn’t sleep Tuesday night. I am so grateful for heroes like these men that are willing to risk their own lives “that others might live” or even just to provide that all-important closure for families of accident victims. And while I hope there is never need to call out the mine rescue team again, I am so proud of Wes and am 100% behind him for making the commitment to join the team.
This picture was taken two days later (Thursday). A few of the mine rescue guys and Wes got to go help with locating avalanche rocket mis-fires on the mine property. This consisted of hiking all day and getting to blow things up. While I am sure this was not a cure, it seems to have helped lift some of the heavy moods the rescuers are currently dealing with.