National Mine Rescue Association

Dedicated to the advancement of the science and engineering practices related to the prevention and control of mine fires and explosions.

Formed in 1976

We prevent, control and rescue mines.

Dedicated to the advancement of the science and engineering practices related to the prevention and control of mine fires and explosions.

The Annual Meeting was held December 5, 2015. The Alpha National Resources, southern West Virginia Team was recognized as the National Coal Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench and Preshift Competition winners at the September 14-17, 2015 National Coal Mine Rescue Contest held in Lexington, Kentucky.

Its objective is to encourage education and the growth of knowledge relating to coal mining including providing scholarships, to advance study and research into mining methods and problems, to promote safety and efficiency in the coal mining industry, to encourage closer cooperation between the coal industry and State and Federal government agencies, to disseminate information relating to the coal mining industry, and to otherwise advance the mutual interests of the members of this association.


2017 NMRA Officers

  • Wes Kenneweg | President,
  • David Cass| 1st Vice President
  • Linda Chasko | 2nd Vice President
  • John Kovac | Secretary/Treasurer
  • Mike Brnich | Past President
  • Dave Mahlke | President Emeritus


James Manuel
207 Maple Ridge Drive, Canonsburg, PA 15317

Jeff Kravitz
412 Kings Highway, Carnegie, PA 15106
412.386.6923Call: 412.386.6923
412.298.8906Call: 412.298.8906 (cell)

Robert Gross
145 West High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370
724.627.9190Call: 724.627.9190

Michael J. Demchak
2 Edgewood Street, Wheeling, WV 26003
304.232.5860Call: 304.232.5860 (work)
fax notices to 304.232.3642Call: 304.232.3642

Bernie Caffrey
1285 Crucible Road, Rices Landing, PA 15357

Board Members

Dan Alexander
PO Box 18070
Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Gary Bochna
2071 Garards Ford Road
PO Box 871
Waynesburg, PA 15370

Robert Burgh
10 Burgh Lane
Washington, PA 15301

Linda Chasko
PO Box 18070
Pittsburgh, PA 15236
412.386.6854 (work)
412.79.1340 (cell)

Larry Cuddy
114 North Wade Avenue
Washington, PA 15301

Gerald Davis
188 Palmer/Adah Road


Mary Doane
538 Hunters Path
Bridgeville, PA 15017
412.596.9273 (cell)

Wayne Duerr
PO Box 18070
Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Chuck Edwards
CSE Corporation
600 Seco Road
Monroeville, PA 15146

Rod Henry
200 East Street
Carmichaels, PA 15320

Richard Hickman
1765 Springdale Road
Pearisburg, VA 24134

Dave Hudson
66881 Anna Drive
St. Clairsville, OH 43950

John Kingora
237 Lemely Road
Waynesburg, PA 15370


John G. Kovac
PO Box 18070
Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Gary Madrid
CSE Corporation
600 Seco Road
Monroeville, PA 15146

Dave Mahlke
142 Clearview Avenue
Wheeling, WV 26003

Gary McHenry
Rt. 1, Box 370
Rivesville, WV 26588

Todd Moore
800 Memorial Drive
Fairview, WV 26570

JD Pekar
297 Old Dairy Road
Dilliner, PA 15327
724.833.3347 (home)

Joseph A. Sbaffoni
100 New Salem Rd., Room 167
Fayette County Health Center
Uniontown, PA 15401


Tom Shumaker
392 Webster Avenue, Box 176
Clarksville, PA 15322

Kevin Stricklin, Administrator
1100 Wilson Blvd. Room 2424
Arlington, VA 22209-3939

Dale Tiberie
780 Beallsville Road
Scenery Hill, PA 15360

John Urosek
Mine Safety & Health Administration
P.O. Box 18233
Cochrans Mill Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Andrea Vigue
Paladin Professional Center
631 Excel Drive, Suite 100
Mt. Pleasant, PA 15666
724.925.5150 ext 147

2017 Annual Business Meeting Minutes

The 93rd National Mine Rescue Association’s Annual Meeting was held on Friday, November 3, 2017, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Southpointe, Canonsburg, PA in conjunction with the Veterans of Mine Rescue’s Annual Meeting.

10:10AM Call to Order/ Welcome: Wes Kenneweg, President, called the meeting to order.  Those in attendance were:  Robbie Roberts-1st Vice President NMRA  Steve Tomalewski-Secretary/Treasurer NMRA  Joe Sbaffoni-Board of Directors NMRA  Robert G Peluso-Retired  Dave Cass-Retired

Dave Hudson-Hudson Associates

Mary Doane-Retired

Chris Melvin-Chaplain NMRA

Linda Chasko-2nd Vice President NMRA

Wes Kenneweg-President NMRA

Reading of the minutes: Meeting Minutes from the National Mine Academy, Beckley, WV RM C123 Wednesday 11 October 2017.   Motion to approved by Linda Chasko and seconded by Joe Sbaffoni and approved by voice vote.

Committee Reports:

Treasurer’s Report as of November 2, 2017– Checking Account $5961.84/CD $10,626.56                        Expenses-Pittsburgh Trophy Company for plaques for National Mine Rescue Contest Beckley                West Virginia and Post 5 contest winners.

Income -None

Motion to approve by Linda Chasko and seconded by Joe Sbaffoni and approved by voice vote.

Membership Committee– Nothing to report

Nominating Committee– The current NMRA Officers have all agreed to serve another year            term.

  1. Post Reports-Post 2- Nothing to ReportPost 6– 2018 Contest will be in Cadiz, Ohio, June 2018. Date to be determined.
  2. Post 5- 2018 Contest is in Morgantown WV, August 2018. Date to be determined.
  3. Post 1– Nothing to Report
  4. Post 7– Annual banquet is scheduled for Nov 30 at 6:00 PM Lebanon, Virginia Bonanza Restaurant.
  5. Post 8– Quarterly meeting set for December.
  6. Post 9– Nothing to report.
  7. Post 11– Nothing to report.

SWRMRA– Nothing to Report

  1. Old Business

5.1   Audit Committee- Audit for 2016-17 still to be done. Joe Sbaffoni to organize.

5.2  Web- NMRA will retain the old website SME/PCMIA under the domain. SME/PCMIA will maintain and update for us.

5.3   Bank Information Update– It has been decided that the authorized persons, by title, to do business on behalf of the NMRA, are; President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and Chaplain. This will need to be supplied to PNC upon conclusion of the annual meeting and ratification vote.

5.4 Holmes Mine Rescue– Nothing to Report

5.5   Collegiate Mine Rescue- Nothing to Report

5.6 Reciprocity- Nothing to Report

5.7   JA Holmes Annual Meeting- JA Holmes Annual Meeting for 2018 will be held in Denver at the Doubletree hotel, June 5-7 and in Cherokee NC for 2019.

5.8   Mine Rescue Team Update for Coal- Wes Kenneweg presented a spreadsheet of the Coal Mine Rescue Teams by state.

5.8   Mine Rescue Team Update MNM– NMRA to continue to work on inventory of MNM Teams.

New Business

6.1   Nationals for Metal Non-Metal– Nationals for Metal Non-Metal will be held in Lexington KY 23-26 July 2018. College Teams are welcome. Contact Sammy Linville for additional information. (

6.2    National Coal Mine Rescue Contest – National Coal Mine Rescue Contest will be held in Lexington, KY 2019. Date to be determined.

6.3   NMRA Audit– To be performed by Joe Sbaffoni and another.

6.4    Assistant Secretary of Labor– David Zatezalo has been approved as the Assist Secretary of Labor.

6.5    Mine Rescue Day, October 30th– Requests and were sent to Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia with proclamations (attached) issued and signed by Governors of each State.

6.6    NMRA Baseball Caps– New Camo Baseball Caps were selected and approved for purchase. These will be sold by NMRA to raise money for organization.

6.7   College Mine Rescue– Collegiate National Mine Rescue Contest held at MSHA Academy 27-28 Oct. Results attached here-to.

6.8   Mine Fatalities 2017– As of 31 Oct 2017 MNM had 10 mining deaths and Coal had 14.

7.0   Next Meeting – Q1 2018

 8.0   Adjournment- Motion to adjourn by Wes Kenneweg and seconded by Linda Chasko and approved.

Funding the Future

NMRA Coal Contest Terms and Conditions

Please check back in the near future for details of our next NMRA sponsored Coal Contest. Thank you for your patience.
Frequently Asked Questions

Standardized. Instructive.

These Questions and Answers were prepared originally in 1928 by a committee of the National Mine Rescue Association. The object was to standardize the procedure in connection with the recovery operations following mine fires and explosions, and at the same time set up that which would be instructive in training new men for this emergency work.

After gaining experience, this publication has been periodically revised and brought up-to-date by a committee appointed for this purpose, assisted by the general membership of the Association.


NMRA Constitution & By-Laws

NMRA Constitution

(As revised, amended, and adopted at the 4th annual meeting of the Association, 1927, revised November 30, 1957, November 11, 1974, December 4, 1981, and October 23, 1987.)

We, citizens of the United States of America, desirous of acquiring and enjoying the powers and privileges of a society, do hereby associate ourselves under the articles, conditions, and for the objects and in the name, style, and title herein set forth:


This association shall be styled and named and bear the title of “National Mine Rescue Association.”


The object of this association is for the advancement of the sciences and engineering practices related to the prevention and control of mine fires and explosions, the safety and effective methods of mine-rescue and recovery operations following mine fires and explosions, the professional improvement of its members, and the encouragement of social activity among persons who have been engaged in mine-rescue and recovery operations.


Among the means to be employed for obtaining these ends shall be meetings for discussion of mine fires and explosions in their various ramifications and for social activity.


Section 1. The parent association subscribed hereto by the charter members shall have its office in the State of Pennsylvania. Branch associations may be organized in the various states or mining districts and will be designated posts No. 1, 2, 3, etc., depending upon the order in which each post is organized. Each post may be organized in honor of, and bear the name of some deceased member of the association who has rendered notable service at mine fires or explosions.


Said association and branch associations shall exist perpetually.


The officers of said association or branch association shall be a President, a First Vice President, a Second Vice President, a Secretary-Treasurer, and a Chaplin, and they, together with a Board of Directors consisting of four immediate past Presidents and not less than 10 additional persons as selected by the Nominating Committee and elected by a majority vote at the annual meeting, shall be vested with and form the governing body of the association. The president or a designate of each post by virtue of being elected to office is also considered to be a member of the Board of Directors of the parent association and is entitled to participate in any or all policy changes or decisions.


Said association or branch association are not for profit and shall hold no property except office supplies required in the execution of the business of the association.

NMRA By-Laws

(As revised, amended, and adopted at the meeting of the Association, December 1981, December 12, 1986, October 23, 1987 and October 7, 1994, Meadow Lands, PA)


Section 1. All persons of good moral character engaged in coal and/or metal and non-metal mining industries who are interested in the prevention and limitation of mine fires and explosions and the execution of fire-fighting and recovery operations may apply for membership as directed below.

Section 2. The members of this association shall be designated as Members, Associate Members, Life Members, or Honorary Members.

Section 3. An Honorary Member shall be a person who has rendered some distinguished service to the industry in preventing and limiting mine fires and explosions, in carrying on recovery operations, or in inventing some outstanding mine rescue device.

Section 4(a). A Member shall be a person experienced in mining who is/was a member in training of any Regular Mine Rescue Team or a person experienced in mining who has worn self-contained, oxygen breathing apparatus, or gas masks in recovery work at a mine fire or mine explosion beyond the fresh-air base.

Section 4(b). A member shall be a person experienced in underground mining, who is/was a member in training, of any regular mine fire brigade, or a person experienced in underground mining who has worn self-contained breathing apparatus at a mine fire.

Section 5. An Associate Member shall be a person who has rendered some service at mine fires or explosions such as a supplier of rescue materials or one who is involved in mine research, development, or manufacture of rescue equipment. Inspection personnel, superintendents, and mine foremen who may become involved in rescue or recovery operations following a mine fire or explosion such as directing, advising or consulting, would also meet the criteria for Associate membership.

Section 6. Membership in this Association shall be certified each year by a membership card bearing the signature of the Secretary-Treasurer of the parent association, and in the case of membership in a Branch Association, the number of the Post and the signature of the Secretary-Treasurer of that Post shall be included also.

Section 7. Membership cards of this Association are obtainable only from the Secretary-Treasurer of the parent association. A supply of membership cards for use of the various posts will be supplied by the Secretary-Treasurer of the parent association upon request of the Secretary-Treasurer of the Branch Association.


Admission to Society
Section 1. Honorary Membership to the association shall be limited to one applicant a year by each post or parent association after being nominated and approved by two-thirds of the members present at the annual meeting. Honorary Members shall entertain all the rights and privileges extended by the association.

Section 2. Application for admission as Members and Associate Members shall be made on blanks prescribed by the Membership Committee which contain a statement of the age and professional experience of the applicant and an agreement that he will conform to the requirements of membership if elected. It shall be signed by the applicant and shall also be vouched for by a member who shall have knowledge of the applicant’s mine rescue experience. The application shall be accompanied by a $2.00 initiation fee and dues as determined by Board of Directors if elected. If not elected to membership, the fee will be returned.

Section 3. All applicants for membership in this association must have the approval of the Membership Committee. At any meeting of the Board of Directors, the Membership Committee will report the applicants for membership and unless objections are raised on the floor of the meeting, the candidate will stand elected. If any objection is made to a candidate for admission, the application will be referred back to the Membership Committee for further investigation.

Section 4. Associate Members may apply for full membership at any time in the regular manner.

Section 5. All members shall have equal voting privileges.


Suspension and Expulsion
Section 1. On the written request of five members that for cause therein set forth a member or associate member of the association be expelled or suspended, the Membership Committee deeming such cause sufficient, shall submit said written request to the Board of Directors which shall consider the charges at a meeting especially called for that purpose, and shall exercise the power to expel or suspend as the judgement of the Board of Directors warrants.

Section 2. Any Member or Associate Member whose dues are in arrears for two years shall be notified by the Secretary. Should his dues be in arrears at the time of the next meeting, he shall lose his right to vote or to hold office. Should his dues become 3 years in arrears, he shall forfeit his connection with the association.


Dues – Finance
Section 1. There shall be an initiation fee of $2.00.

Section 2. The annual dues to be paid by Members and Associate Members shall be established by the Board of Directors and announced at the regular meeting.

Section 3. The annual dues shall be payable on or before January 1st, in advance.

Section 4. A Member or Associate Member, not in arrears, may by the payment of 15 years current dues, become a Life Member or Life Associate. Member as the case may be and thereafter be relieved of the payment of annual dues.

Section 5. Members or Associate Members upon attaining the age of 65 years shall be relieved of payment of dues and be classified as Life Members or Life Associate Members provided they have paid dues for each of the preceding 15 years.

Section 6. Each person admitted to the association shall be considered as belonging thereto and liable for the payment of dues until he shall resign, be expelled, or dropped for not paying dues at the proper time.

Section 7. All moneys received shall be placed in the general fund from which all current expenses of the association shall be paid.


Officers, Their Election, and Duties
Section 1. The officers of the association are named in Article VI of the constitution.

Section 2. (a) The President, Vice-President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Chaplin, and the Board of Directors, with the exception of the four immediate past Presidents, shall each be elected annually for a term of one year. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice President shall succeed to the office. Vacancies in other offices or the Board of Directors shall be filled by election at the meeting following a vacancy.

Section 2. (b) The Secretary-Treasurer shall receive a salary specified by the Board of Directors, plus expenses incidental to the office.

Section 3. The President of the association shall act as Chairman of the Board of Directors and shall preside at the annual meeting.

Section 4. The Secretary-Treasurer shall present a financial report at the annual meeting.

Section 5. A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the President at a meeting of the Board of Directors preceding the annual meeting. The Nominating Committee shall present a list of nominees at the annual meeting and a majority vote of the members shall be necessary for election of any candidate to office.


Section 1. The Board of Directors shall have the general management of the affairs of the association in conformity with its Constitution and By-Laws. It may make rules not inconsistent with the Constitution and By-Laws to facilitate the handling of the business of the association. Ten members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Section 2. A Committee of five appointed by the President shall serve as a Committee on Membership. A committee of three appointed by the President shall serve as a Committee of Publicity. The President shall appoint such other committees as may be required from time to time to further the activities of the association.


Section 1. The annual meeting of the parent association shall be held in the general area of Pittsburgh, PA and on a date selected by the Board of Directors.

Section 2. Other meetings may be called by the President during the year as warranted.

Section 3. Time and place of meetings of branch associations or posts will be designated by the respective branch association or post.

Section 4. The minutes of all meetings held during the past year shall be read, election of officers accomplished, and address of the retiring President made at the annual meeting.

Section 5. The business procedure of all meetings shall be governed by Roberts’ Rules of Order.

Section 6. Only members of the association and others approved by the Board of Directors shall be permitted to attend meetings of the association.


Branch Association or Posts
Section 1. Posts may be established as indicated in Article IV of the Constitution with the approval of the Board of Directors of the parent association.

Section 2. The Constitution and By-Laws of the parent organization will be in effect for all posts.

Section 3. Each post will submit an annual report to the parent association on or before December 1st of each year covering its activities during the preceding year.

Section 4. Twenty (20) percent of the monies collected by the Posts for Initiation and Dues shall be remitted to the Secretary-Treasurer of the parent organization.

Section 5. A Member or Associate Member may transfer his membership to another post or parent organization by presentation of his membership card without paying the initiation fee.


Section 1. No permanent record of the discussion or information given at meetings shall be kept or published without the sanction of the person or persons, or company submitting same and then only after having been reviewed and unanimously approved by the Publicity Committee.

Section 2. Written papers covering scientific and engineering phases of mine fires and explosions or recovery operations, methods of procedure, etc., may be published in the technical press with the approval of the author or authors, and the Publicity Committee, provided that the technical journal will supply a sufficient number of reprints for the use of members of the association submitting the paper.


Section 1. A roving trophy shall be presented by the parent organization at the National Mine Rescue contest for the winning team of coal and metal and non-metal at the annual contest. Individual-type certificates shall also be presented to members of the winning team. The presentation of the roving trophies is to be coordinated in a manner recommended by the Awards Committee with the approval of the Board of Directors.

Section 2. A special award may be presented to individuals who have made a special contribution to the National Mine Rescue Association as determined by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will also determine what type of award should be presented. Any member may recommend, in writing, an individual to the Secretary-Treasurer or to the Board of Directors for consideration for an award.


Section 1. The Constitution and By-Laws may be amended at any annual meeting of the Association by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present.


Notice of Meetings
Section 1. The Secretary-Treasurer shall mail a notice of meeting to the members of the association ten days in advance of the annual meeting.

Section 2. The Secretary-Treasurer shall mail a notice of meeting to the officers and members of Board of Directors ten days in advance of a meeting.


Charter Members
Section 1. All those who attended the meetings held at Leisenring, PA on September 6, 1924, or the Pittsburgh meeting held December 2, 1924, and were eligible to full membership shall be listed on the minutes of the parent association as Charter Members. The said Charter Members are as follows:

  • J. V. Berry
  • Wm Nisbet
  • H. R. Burdelsky
  • Charles Opperman
  • E. V. Barrett
  • Frank Pardoc
  • Stanley J. Commisky
  • D. J. Parker
  • Philip Calaghan
  • J. T. Ryan
    J. C. Davies
  • Geo. W. Riggs
  • F. B. Dunbar
  • J. J. Rutledge
  • Geo. H. Deike
  • Robert B. Reid
  • W. G. Duncan
  • C. O. Roberts
  • S. S. Hall
  • W. F. Sullivan
  • P. S. King
  • V. A. Stanton
  • W. J. Fene
  • B. J. Murphy
  • P. A. Frear
  • Martin J. Murphy
  • Jas. Gatehouse
  • H. O. Millward
  • C. L. Lutton
  • K. L. Marshall
  • Richard Maize
  • Wm Moore
  • Jas. L. Maize
  • Edward Steidle
  • H. E. Mason
  • J. E. Struble
  • George S. McCaa
  • James Thirtle
  • J. C. McDermott
  • Jas. D. Walker
  • Geo. C. Nelms
  • J. H. Zorn

Section 2. Charter members of the parent associations or posts will be determined by each at the time of organization.

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