The Town of Vail was overwhelmed last week with the arrival of The Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute (www.rmcmi.org). Hundreds of members of this organization chose Vail for their 100th anniversary conference. They arrived from all over the United States and Canada to participate in training and educational seminars.
Of course the Antlers, a hotel and conference center that is always afraid of missing out on the fun, volunteered to host “emergency disaster training” for 2 days. This involved real life, re-enactments of rescue operations involving different scenarios around our property and common areas.
The pictures really don’t illustrate how life-like these situations were. Some guests actually thought there were live rescues occurring as they passed through the staging areas. What made it believable were the “victims” that were not afraid to scream as though they were in pain and the rescue teams shouting out instructions as they assured the “victims” that help was on its way.
As the second day of mock rescues were winding down, I was approached by a guest who had these comments. “My kids really were fascinated by all of this and I had no idea what went on behind the scenes. These people really are professionals.” His young son looked up at me and said “Mister, do you have a coal mine here?”
“No we don’t, but there are some not too far away in the mountains” was my reply.
He looked back at his dad and said ” too bad because I sure would feel safe if something happened in your mine.”