Mining Feature: Mine Rescue and Response Researcher Honored by National Organization

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Linda Chasko, smiling, poses with her award
Linda Chasko

Chasko and her Woman of the Year Award from the Holmes Mine Rescue Association.

Linda Chasko, a research technician in the NIOSH Mining Program's Fires and Explosions Branch, was recently named Woman of the Year by the Holmes Mine Rescue Association.

The award honored Ms. Chasko’s extensive accomplishments in the mine rescue field, including contributing to multiple underground coal mine fire prevention workshops and participating in simulations and mine emergency response exercises that allowed for realistic rescue training. She also ensures that guidelines for various training scenarios are updated and followed during experimental testing and field demonstrations. As part of these training exercises, she has recorded rescue team progress during training simulations and assisted in the debriefing of team members.

Ms. Chasko’s expertise has even been called on by filmmakers. At the request of television's TLC, Linda participated in a Mine Rescue and Response project to film underground fires and emergency responders at the Lake Lynn Laboratory. For this, Linda set up different scenarios and participated in the filming by extinguishing liquid fuel fires and conveyor belt fires.

Additionally, Ms. Chasko contributed to the construction and evaluation of the improved rescue team lighted lifeline which can be used by emergency responders in low light areas and in smoky passageways during explorations and recovery operations, and helped to complete the evaluation of the third-generation inflatable air lock. She is regularly requested to judge mine rescue competitions and frequently sought out to provide feedback on new mine rescue technologies.

She is also an author or co-author of 23 publications.

Ms. Chasko’s award came from the Holmes Mine Rescue Association branch of the Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association, and was presented during the association's 2019 Joint National Meeting and Training Seminar in June in Virginia Beach, VA.

The Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1916 and named in honor of safety pioneer Joseph A. Holmes, who died in 1915. Dr. Holmes was the first Director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines at its founding in 1910. The Bureau's safety and health research is carried out by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Mining Program, while mine rescue and regulatory responsibilities are handled by the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration. The Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association brings together leaders from mining companies, industry vendors, labor organizations, state government, and federal government.

Page last reviewed: July 8, 2019
Page last updated: July 3, 2019