The Chile Mine Disaster and Rescue Operations (continuation)
Precision Company, an oil-drilling service provider who had the technology to perform the hole-drilling operations via computer-aided equipment, was tasked to drill holes. The company initially used poke drills to allow the emanation of any foul smell that would indicate signs of decaying bodies. On the 17th day of the rescue operations, one of the poke drills came up with a note coming from the miners that stated all 33 workers were alive, safe, and sound.
- While all these activities were going on, NASA Chief Duncan and his team of expert engineers designed and developed an escape capsule that was fully equipped with oxygen masks and monitoring equipment complete with audio and visual appendages.
- Once the drilling company knew exactly where the miners were, they started drilling the escape hole at just about the right size, so that the escape capsule would fit and could be lowered to 2,300 feet deep. The hole was also used to bring down food, cots, and gadgets to keep the miners preoccupied and well aware of all the rescue efforts being developed and underway.
- Prior to the actual day of the rescue, the capsule was tested and rescuers went down to prepare and organize all thirty-three miners.
- Up to the very end of the mission, the team of President Pinera and Minister Goldborne saw to it that everyone and everything was organized.
(a) Paramedics of the Navy Special Forces were at hand in case of emergencies.
(b) Traffic going to the site was closed to allow the rescue helicopter pilots enough night vision and landing areas. Their task was to transport each worker to the nearest hospital for proper medical examination after each haul.
(c) Each of the trapped miners was made to take-in a high-calorie drink that would allow the miners to stand the spinning motion of the capsule as it ascended.
(d) The closest family of the ascending miners was brought nearer to the hole’s surface area as part of the welcoming party.
(e) The miners were brought up divided into three groups: The first was composed of the most skilled and expert in the group. This group was tasked to provide any information that would warn the NASA team of possible technical troubles that might crop-up.
(f) The second team comprised those who were considered the weakest in the group, while the third were those considered the strongest.
The whole world watched and applauded as each miner appeared, looking happy and in the best disposition. In this second example of success stories in crisis management, the head of Chile and his mining minister actually came out of their air-conditioned homes and offices to ensure that the operation was given the best attention and conditions that would ensure the success of the rescue mission.
Next Page: Air New Zealand's Out-of-the Box Crisis Management Response - the third of our success stories in crisis management.