Mining Publication: Mine Emergency Response Command Center Training Using Computer Simulation
As mines become safer and major disasters fewer, the number of experienced emergency responders is decreasing. This decrease will create a gap in response expertise, which could have serious ramifications during future mine disasters. While working toward safety goals, which may make emergency response obsolete, it would be reckless not to acknowledge that the potential for disaster still exists and that the protection of miners in such circumstances must remain a priority. The Mine Emergency Response Interactive Training Simulation (MERITS) is a computerized mine emergency simulation that meets a variety of needs. It allows personnel in leadership positions to test their knowledge and skill. Groups of individuals composed of representatives from mining companies, labor, and government agencies can practice working together during the simulated mine emergency much in the same way that an actual emergency would require. An individual could also run the program to enhance his or her response skills. With this training tool, responders will be able to learn from their mistakes before facing situations with potentially catastrophic consequences. This paper discusses MERITS and its use in providing command center training.