Originally established at the turn of the 20th century to respond to emergencies from the UK mining industry, the first station was established at Tankersley in Yorkshire in 1902. Part of the National Coal Board, later British Coal Corporation until its privatisation in 1996, we attended many emergency calls to coal mines over the years, such as:-
1910 Pretoria -344 dead
1913 Senghenydd -439 dead
There were also some lessons learnt from emergencies in the 1950s, such as Cresswell, where it took over a year to recover all of the bodies which led to the introduction of miners being supplied with respiratory protective devices (self rescuers), and the Knockshinnoch disaster, which led to the precautions against in rush regulations.
Mines Rescue Service was set up, early 1996, by the newly privatised coal mining companies as a Company Limited by Guarantee with no shares, for the purpose of taking over the operations of the Mines Rescue Service previously undertaken by the British Coal Corporation.
With the continuous closure of underground mines during the intervening period, it became increasingly obvious that “change” was required to the governance arrangements. In April 2015, the HSE confirmed new Regulations for the “revocation of the Escape & Rescue from Mines Regulations 1995 in their entirety”, which included the National Mines Rescue Scheme, and thereby the statutory requirement for all coal mines to utilise MRS. The original objective and purpose for MRS was therefore removed.
In 2016, MRS changed its name to MRS Training & Rescue and became an Employee Benefit Trust.