The All American effort!

Regarding the recent mine rescue in Chile, did you know:

More people watched the rescue of the miners that the arrival of the first American astronaut to the moon.

The guy that designed the rescue module was a NASA Engineer. NASA also provided medical and psychological counseling, along with special diets and also special suits used to keep blood pressure stable for the miners during their ascent to the surface.

The Drill was made by Schramm Inc. from Pennsylvania.

The Drill Bits were made by Center Rock, Inc. located in Berlin, Pennsylvania.

Moreover, the UPS Company took from Pennsylvania to Chile 13 tons of the drilling equipment in less than 48 hours without charging the Chilean government a single penny.

Sturge Taggart from the Atlas Copco Construction Mining Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, coordinated the use of equipments that operated with different specifications. Rescue workers in Chile had to make drilling equipment from different sources work together. Pressure specifications required for each piece of equipment were not the same. Taggart did some of the calculations to help solve that issue. His math played a role in making all the drilling equipment work together

Another American company donated to the 33 miners the special glasses (at a cost of $400 each) to avoid damage to the retina after coming to the light of day.

The Company Central California Video Engineering and Manufacturing Co. (CCV), a Fresno subsidiary of Wisconsin-based Aries Industries, designed a special camera that was lowered more than 2,200 feet underground to where the miners were sending back images of a miner staring wide-eyed into the lens, proving that they were still alive.

A company from Houston also had a central role in supplying specialized precision devices for three-axes orientation measurement employing optical gyros.

Drillers Supply International company whose owner had intimate ties with Chile where he had worked for 25 years; his company was the contract general for plan B perforation, the one that reached the miners.

Zephyr Technologies of Annapolis Maryland, sent monitors that transmitted reports on the vital signs of the miners to be used during their ascent to the surface.

The lead driller Jeff Hart and his team Fisher and Stefanic are from Denver, Colorado. They were on loan from the US Military in Afghanistan where they are drilling water wells for our Forward Operating Bases.

He spent the next 33 days on his feet, operating the drill that finally provided a way out the final day for 33 trapped miners.

“You have to feel through your feet what the drill is doing; it’s a vibration you get so that you know what’s happening,” explained Hart.

Hart was called in from Afghanistan, “simply because he’s the best” at drilling larger holes with the T130’s wide-diameter drill bits, Stefanic said.

Standing before the levers, pressure meters and gauges on the T130’s control panel, Hart and the rest of the team faced many challenges in drilling the shaft.

At one point, the drill struck a metal support beam in the poorly mapped mine, shattering its hammers. Fresh equipment had to be flown in from the United States and progress was delayed for days as powerful magnets were lowered to pull out the pieces.

The mine’s veins of gold and copper ran through quartzite with a high level of abrasive silica, rock so tough that it took all their expertise to keep the drill’s hammers from curving off in unwanted directions. “It was horrible,” said Center Rock President Brandon Fisher, exhausted after hardly sleeping during the effort.

Fisher, Stefanic and Hart called it the most difficult hole they had ever drilled, because of the lives at stake.

“If you’re drilling for oil and you lose the hole, it’s different. This time there’s people down below,” Stefanic said. “We ruined some bits, worked through the problems as a team, and broke through,” Hart said. “I’m very happy now.”

And as an example to the world, after working hard in the rescue for more than 30 days and crown it successfully, just like they arrived,  the Americans quietly left so not to steal the cameras for themselves and for Chileans to fully enjoy the glory of the historic rescue.



Consul Biggs Sparkuhl Meets With Vice President Biden, Congresswoman Titus

Consul Biggs Sparkuhl with Vice President Joe Biden

Consul Biggs Sparkuhl with Vice President Joe Biden in Las Vegas

November 15, 2009 –/ Consul Biggs Sparkuhl today met with her long time friend, Congresswoman Dina Titus, and with Vice President Joe Biden, whom she had not spoken with since his campaign for the presidency.

The meetings took place in Las Vegas at a private event at the Atomic History Museum, adjacent to UNLV.
During their conversation, Vice President Biden spoke about his meeting with President Bachelet of Chile, whom Consul Biggs Sparkuhl hosted in Las Vegas last year.  Vice President Biden joked that he would like to know President Bachelet’s secret for her 80%

Consul Biggs Sparkuhl Meets with Congresswoman Dina Titus

Consul Biggs Sparkuhl, Congresswoman Dina Titus

approval ratings.

The two also discussed the success of the Chilean economy during the economic downturn, and the attributes enjoyed when visiting chile. 

Consul Biggs Sparkuhl Bolsters International Assistance

Consul Biggs Sparkuhl is joined by consuls of Guatemala, Sweden and Poland in support of Guatemalan School

Consul Biggs Sparkuhl is joined by consuls of Guatemala, Sweden and Poland in support of Guatemalan School

30 Sept. 2009/Consular Chamber of Commerce/- Prominent Las Vegans Phil and Dona Griffith hosted a spectacular fundraiser to support the New Life With Education School, located in Santa Maria de Jesus, Guatemala.

New Life is a small operation, taking in disabled students in one of the poorest towns in Guatemala. 

Dr. Aldo Aguirre, Honorary Vice Consul of Guatemala and President of the Executive Committee of the Consular Chamber, was on hand to answer questions and support the valiant efforts of Judy Kerschner, the Fonder of New Life.  Consul members in attendance also included Lena Walther, Honorary Consul of Sweden, Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl, Honorary Consul of Chile, and John Petkus, Honorary Consul of Poland.

The gracious hosts opened their lovely Las Vegas home and served up a sumptuous selection of food and beverage.  Ms. Kerschner brought video and great deal of her endeavors in Guatemala.  Funds were donated by attendees.