State Militarized Mine-Rescue (Rescue) Squad

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History of the squad

Autumn 1912 marks the opening of the first mining rescue station in Dnipro region. Situated in Shmakove village, the station did not yet have its own staff, thus the rescue operations involved volunteer miners. 1913 can be fairly called the golden age of the Shmakivska rescue station before the Bolshevik revolution: 6.3 million tons of iron ore were collected by 79 mines in Kryvyi Rih. With the beginning of World War I and the revolution, the station was shut down. In 1932 the Inguletska rescue station was situated, and in 1933 two other mining rescue stations started operating in Marganets and Zhovta Rika (later renamed into Zhovti Vody). On 1st January 1934 the Council of People’s Commissars of USSR has passed its 25th Decree, declaring the militarization of mining rescue workers and the situating of the 10th mining rescue brigade in Kryvyi Rih, placed under the jurisdiction of the Staff of mining rescue units of Donbas and containing 8 subunits (platoons). In February 1939 the 10th brigade was transferred to the supervision of the Security and Special Forces administration under the USSR’s People’s Iron and Steel Commissariat. At that time the service was known as “Militarized mining rescue units (MMRU)”.  In April 1941 the brigade was complemented by two mining rescue platoons within the “Dzerzhynskyi” and the “Chervona Hvardiya” (“Red Guard”) mines (later renamed into “Gigant-Drenazhna” (“Giant-Drainage”) mine of the “Tsentralnyi (central) ore mining and processing enterprise” PJSC and “Gvardiiska” mine of the “Kryvyi Rih iron-ore integrated works” PJSC correspondingly).

During World War II the 10th MMRU was fully evacuated to Ural where it continued service within the Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions. In spring 1944, after the liberation of Kryvyi Rih, the 10th MMRU was renamed into the 1st Kryvyi Rih MMRU and the mining rescue team returned to Kryvyi Rih to renovate the mining works. As after the war it was no longer enough to eliminate the accident damage in order to keep up the efficient work, accident prevention became priority and the emergency protection management service (mine inspections, technical work concerning mass explosions and other dangerous activities), the surface and mining works powder-gas surface service (gas analysis laboratory) and the air depression survey service (efficiency audits of mine ventilation systems, hollows and blocks) were situated within the brigade. At this time the brigade operated as a part of various structures and services within the Soviet and Ukrainian mineral resource ministries. In March 1998 the brigade was transferred into the supervision of the Public Service of Ukraine for emergencies. 

The Ukrainian government has extended great appreciation to the mining rescue workers for ensuring safety within the mining industry of Kryvbas. On 25th October 2002 the squad was honored to receive a diploma from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. 50 members of the enlisted personnel and command staff have received state awards and medals of honor. A great contribution to the creation and development of the squad, constant improvements of its efficiency and professionalism belongs to: I. A. Radzivilov (station commander), Korol’ov, A. F. Okonevskyi, V. K. Vasylkov , D. M. Bogomol, O. V. Gudz (squad commanders). Starting early 2000 and up until now I. A. Yevstratenko is in command of the squad.

 

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