Brandon Fisher. The hero that, with his ‘plan B’ rescue, helped save the lives of 33 miners trapped deep in a mine in Chile, was recognized tonight by President Obama in his State of the Union Address.
The miners were trapped nearly a mile deep underground. The copper and gold mine they were working in had collapsed. It took three weeks before anyone even knew if they were alive. It took two months for rescuers to pull them out.
And the man behind the rescue plan that worked: Brandon Fisher.
There were actually several plans underway, Plan A, Plan B (Brandon Fisher’s), and a third backup drill, Plan C.
Fisher had founded his own company, Center Rock, in 1998, and developed a high efficiency, low profile, drill (LP Drill). The LP Drill was used in the Chilean mine rescue.
But long before the collapse of the mine in Chile, Fisher had already earned a reputation as a hero. In 2002 he helped save 9 miners from the flooded Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Of the rescue in Chile, Center Rock employee Tom Foy told AP, “They said, ‘Well, heck, they ain’t getting out till Christmastime, and I know and Brandon knows and we all knew we could get down to them faster than that. We proved that Center Rock is a little company, but they do big things.”
The President borrowed the “do big things’ statement several times in tonight’s speech.
After directing the rescue operations in Chile, Brandon Fisher didn’t stick around for the accolades. He watched the completion of the rescue – the miners actually being pulled through the shaft that he and his company had drilled, at home on TV.
During tonight’s State of the Union Address, Brandon Fisher and his wife, Julie, sat in the First Lady’s section.