Oct 11, 2017
Volunteering To Serve the Community: Minister President Dr. Haseloff Presents Mine Rescue Service Badges of Honor
Today, 10 miners from the Zielitz potash plant and the esco salt mine in Bernburg were awarded gold and silver mine rescue service badges of honor, endowed by the federal president, for 20 and 15 years of mine rescue service. The awards were presented by Minister President Dr. Reiner Haseloff at a ceremony held in the state chancellery at Magdeburg.
A total of 350 employees serve in mine rescue teams at the K+S Group’s German mines, which also include the Zielitz and Bernburg plants. They serve on a voluntary basis – the overwhelming majority having done so for many years – to eliminate dangers underground, protect people’s lives or to preserve assets.
The particular importance of their voluntary service was underscored by Minister President Dr. Reiner Haseloff, who said “This award honors your great commitment to serving the common good. You have dedicated yourselves to helping your fellow human beings. You see such commitment as service. You serve others. Voluntary service is the opposite of maintaining a distance. In mining, only the community can make a difference. What lies behind that slogan is a core element of the ethical standards upheld by those who work in mining. As members of mine rescue teams, you embody that ethos and those qualities and, at the same time, you are representative of the many mineworkers in our state.”
Well trained and supplied with modern equipment
Mine rescue service requires a high degree of physical fitness, which has to be maintained not just through engaging in sports but also through regular practical exercises. It is particularly important to be able to operate at peak physical performance while using respiratory protection.
The K+S Group’s mine rescue teams possess modern equipment that is tailored to deployment conditions. Alongside the vehicles that are necessary, some of which have mobile extinguishing technology and special equipment for fighting fires underground, it includes clearing equipment, ventilators as well as gas measuring technology and infrared cameras. The servicing and maintenance of the equipment is handled by specially trained service personnel.
In total, the mine rescue team at Zielitz has 62 members and the one at the Bernburg salt plant has 28. Both mine rescue teams are interlinked through mutual agreements on the provision of assistance and linked to other plants, with the result that the area for which they are responsible also extends to mining plants outside Saxony-Anhalt and as far away as Brandenburg and Lower Saxony.