Local Miner Inducted Into National Mine Rescue Hall of Fame
ST LOUIS, Mo. (August 17, 2016) – Denny Dickerson, of Ellington, Missouri, was honored as a 2016 inductee in the Metal and Nonmetal National Mine Rescue Hall of Fame. The Mine Safety and Health Administration recognized Dickerson’s more than 30 years of service as a skilled mine rescuer at the hall of fame banquet in July. During the past 18 years, Dickerson served as a member of the Maroon mine rescue team at The Doe Run Company (Doe Run), where he worked until retiring in early 2016.
“Denny led by example, pushing our team to perform better in competition so we would be prepared to help our fellow miners,” said Steve Setzer, captain for Doe Run’s Maroon Team. “We all are better, and mine rescue is better, because of the level of expertise that Denny brings and expects from each of us.”
Prior to Doe Run, Dickerson served nearly 15 years on the mine rescue team for ASARCO.
“When I first began in the mining industry, I didn’t know about mine rescue,” said Dickerson. “While working at West Fork Mine in 1985, we started a mine rescue team to make sure we had the skills needed to help our fellow employees in the event of an emergency underground. I volunteered and ended up staying on the team until my retirement.”
Dickerson held multiple roles on the mine rescue team throughout his tenure.
“I started as a gas man on the line, which meant I was one of the five team members to go underground,” said Dickerson. “My role was to measure the level of different gases underground. I was also a fresh-air base map man above ground, who communicates with the team to help to navigate the mines and map the emergency.”
Dickerson helped the Maroon Team earn the championship title at the Mine Safety and Health Administration National Metal/Nonmetal Mine Rescue Contest in 2010 and 2014. Doe Run’s teams train for their competition season by simulating emergency response scenarios that are often created by another Doe Run team or team alumni. Team members then collaborate and critique each other to share best practices and personal experience with the group. Outside of competition season, Doe Run’s mine rescue teams undergo eight hours of rigorous training each month to keep skills sharp.
While mine rescue contests are competitive events, all participants value each team’s commitment to safety above all else. A fellow mine rescuer from the Mississippi Lime team, a mine rescue team the Maroon Team regularly faces in competition, recognized Dickerson’s dedication and nominated him for the Missouri Mine Rescue Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Missouri Mine Rescue Hall of Fame in October 2015.
Dickerson began his career in 1974 with Ozark Lead, then moved to a position with ASARCO in 1984, where he remained following Doe Run’s purchase of the mine. Throughout his career, he worked in a variety of roles underground as a miner, driller, explosives charger and a part of the pillar crew, mixing concrete to support mine infrastructure at Buick Mine.
Though he has retired from his position, Dickerson intends to remain involved with Doe Run’s mine rescue program by assisting with training efforts and developing hypothetical situations for the team’s practice routine.
“I’ve had a chance to work with a lot of good people, to teach them and learn from them all,” said Dickerson. “The people on your team become your family. You depend on them in potentially dangerous situations, which forms a tight bond in the group. We all sincerely enjoy our work and take pride in our record.”
The Metal and Nonmetal Mine Rescue Hall of Fame inductees were recognized on July 28, during the 2016 National Metal/Nonmetal Mine Rescue Competition in Reno, Nevada. Local mine rescue teams from Doe Run also competed in the contest.
About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and a global provider of lead, copper and zinc concentrates. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling centers, located in Boss, Missouri. The Doe Run Company and its subsidiaries deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit www.doerun.com and sustainability.doerun.com.