- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) - A member of the Kentucky Coal Academy Mine Rescue team has taken a top award at a national coal mine rescue competition.

The competition was held in Lexington and attracted rescue teams from a dozen states.

Taber Tichenor was named the Bench BioPak Champion by beating out 43 other competitors. The BioPak competition gives miners 30 minutes to inspect and ensure self-contained breathing devices are working properly.

Tichenor works for Armstrong Coal Co. at its Kronos Mine in Ohio County.

The Kentucky Coal Academy’s Mine Rescue program operates out of Madisonville Community College. It is made up of workers from Armstrong, KenAmerican Resources, Pennyrile Energy and Thoroughfare Mining.

The annual four-day competition is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration.

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