Following in the footsteps of his grandfather who took him underground for the first time when he was 12, After 23 years of truck driving and always being on the road, Joseph moved back home to West Virginia and took at job in the coal mines. As a trained EMT, he’s worked his way up from a Red Hat (novice coal miner) to Miner Operator. After three years of mining, his injuries have been limited to a mangled finger and feels that coal mining is less dangerous than being a truck driver on the open road.
A third generation miner (his mother is the mine’s office secretary, father a trucker and grandfather a miner), Jonathan grew up just three miles from the mine. Recently, promoted from a Red Hat apprentice to a Black Hat, Jonathan took the job at the mine to support his wife a baby daughter. Jonathan intends to be a coal miner for the rest of his life saying “I enjoy being a coal miner, I’m proud of it. You can say you’re a coal miner and everyone has respect for you. They know what you go through.”
Hank’s been mining since 2000. He’s a second-generation miner whose father retired after an injury in the hole. His father discouraged him from mining, but Hank says in West Virginia, you’re either a logger, miner or flipping burgers and says he wasn’t about to start flipping burgers. Hank says that coal mining is just something he loves, that it’s in his family’s blood – and deep in his blood.