12 July 2012
Last updated at 00:36
The Mines Rescue Service was founded after the Coal Mines Act of 1911. The Act required the setting up of a rescue organisation to serve coal mines.
By 1918, 43 Mines Rescue Stations had been established. There are now only six left which serve 14 UK coal mines, as well as salt, limestone and gypsum plants.
The Mines Rescue Service has a permanent core team on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At the headquarters in Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, miners from collieries across the country are trained to become rescuers.
The training rooms are beneath the headquarters. Rescuers are kitted out with breathing apparatus weighing 17kg (37lbs) - the same gear they would have to use in a real-life emergency.
The rooms are designed to test the skills of the brigadesmen and create conditions they would have to work in should they be called out. Rooms can be filled with smoke, the temperature can be raised and the layout altered to replicate conditions in a real mine.
The training base consists of a series of tunnels, a humidity room and a pit which can be filled with various liquids and made to look like oil or chemicals. In the picture above, rescue officer Stuart Richardson is starting a fire for the team to deal with.
Mr Richardson, who qualified as a rescue brigadesmen in 1991, said: "We train the lads to be the best they can to prevent loss of life."
The rescue team has a short space of time in difficult conditions to solve a problem successfully. Mr Richardson said the training is designed to replicate real-life scenarios.