Chris Witt, Coal Mine Safety
Chris Whitt is the Trainer for Virginia Mine Rescue and oversees team operation. Before joining the agency, he spent twelve years at Virginia Energy as Emergency Manager and several years at different mining operations, including 10 years in mine rescue service. Chris received his B.S. in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech. He lives in Richlands with his wife, Melonie and daughter, Tessa and enjoys scenic motorcycle rides through the mountains.
Ken Johnson, Coal Mine Safety
Ken Johnson is Co-Captain of Virginia Mine Rescue’s Big Stone Gap team. He has 39 years of mining experience and 17 years mine rescue experience. He attended Southwest Virginia Community College and Liberty University. Ken lives in Castlewood with his wife Becky and is the Pastor of Grace Alive church in Abingdon. He also hosts the TV program Grace Alive.
Anthony Sturgill, Coal Mine Safety
Anthony Sturgill began with the Virginia Mine Rescue Team in 2016 when the team originated. He serves as Captain of the Big Stone Gap team. Anthony received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute in 2002. He has been with Virginia Energy for 15-years and serves in the coal mine safety technical section. He resides in Pound with his wife Rachel, their four children and two grandchildren. They cherish family time, engage in their kids' sports, and relish outdoor activities like fishing and hunting.
Andy Sawyers, Coal Mine Safety
Andy Sawyers is Co-Captain of Virginia Mine Rescue’s Lebanon team. He has 16 years of mining experience and nine years of mine rescue experience. Andy received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Bluefield State College and an MBA from Liberty University. He lives in Tazewell with his wife Jill and their three children Maddy, Jaxson and Lyla. Andy and Jill are Youth Pastors at Life Church in Claypool Hill and Young Life Leaders in Tazewell. They love anything outdoors and spending time as a family. Vernon Johnson is a member of the team.
Willie Cochran, Mineral Mining
Willie Cochran manages the stretcher for Virginia Mine Rescue’s Lebanon team. Willie has been with Virginia Energy the last 15 years as a Mineral Mining inspector. Before joining the agency, he spent ten years as a foreman and safety director at a quarry. Willie received his B.S. in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech. He lives in Christiansburg with his wife Amy and three children, Todd, Cade and Caeley. He enjoys spending time with his family at church and outdoors and watching their sporting and music events.
Dennis Honaker, Coal Mine Safety
Dennis Honaker is the Map Man for Virginia Mine Rescue's Big Stone Gap Team. Dennis works at Virginia Energy as a coal mine safety inspector. Before joining the agency, he had 20 years in the coal industry, 15 with Alpha Natural Resources and Contura Energy. Dennis also spent five years serving the Dickenson and Russell Mine Rescue team. Dennis lives in Russell County on a farm with his wife and two children. When they're not farming, they enjoy hunting, fishing and being outdoors as a family
Joey Musick, Coal Mine Safety
Joey Musick is the Captain of the Virginia Mine Rescue Lebanon Team. Joey has been at Virginia Energy as a coal mine safety inspector for the last three years. Before joining the agency, Joey held several positions at Buchanan Minerals for eight years. He also served on the company’s mine rescue team for five years in various roles. He enjoys spending all his spare time with his family at the lake and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Rusty Ward, Coal Mine Safety
Rusty Ward is a Briefing Officer for the Lebanon team and is an original member of Virginia Mine Rescue. Rusty has 15 years of experience at Virginia Energy as a Mine Safety Inspector and Mine Safety Specialist. He brings 37 years of mining experience to Virginia Energy including several as a Chief Electrician. Rusty has a degree in Pastoral Ministries and lives in Pounding Mill with his wife Karen. They enjoy spending time with their two children and four grandchildren. Rusty also enjoys spending time on the lake fishing with his family.
Sideny Crabtree, Coal Mine Safety
Sidney Crabtree serves as Virginia Mine Rescue Lebanon Team’s Mapman. When he is not competing or training with the team, Sidney is a coal mine safety inspector. He brings over ten years of experience in mine rescue to Virginia Energy. Previously he served on the team for Jewell Smokeless Coal Company. Sidney has an Associate's Degree in Electrical Electronics Technology and enjoys time with his family outdoors. He likes to hunt, fish and camp.
Danny Mullins, Coal Mine Safety
Danny Mullins is a Gas Man on the Virginia Mine Rescue Big Stone Gap team and is an original member. For the last nine years, Danny has worked with Virginia Energy as a coal mine safety inspector. He has served Virginia Energy as a Mine Safety Inspector for the last nine years. Danny is from Dickenson County and served six years in the United States Marine Corps.
Spencer Lee, Coal Mine Safety
Spencer Lee is a member of the team.
Vernon Johnson, Jr., Coal Mine Safety
Vernon Johnson is a member of the team.