Harry Trevor took this photograph of the Bagworth Colliery No 1 rescue team on 22nd August 1913. It shows an instructor and the team of five men wearing their breathing apparatus and safety goggles and carrying flame safety lamps. In the foreground can be seen other items of rescue equipment including a stretcher, ropes and a caged canary.
The mine rescue team became a legal requirement for all collieries in the Coal Mines Act of 1911. The teams were made up of volunteers chosen for their physical fitness and experience underground. Rescue stations and teams, like the one at Bagworth, had to be within 10 miles of collieries to ensure a fast response to any accidents or emergencies.
Rescue teams rarely found any survivors in the event of underground explosions or fires. 'Afterdamp' poisoned the air immediately after a mine explosion or fire and regularly claimed the lives of miners who were nearby.