The Mine Rescue Association was established in 1972 following the Hwange Colliery Mine disaster which killed 427 employees at the No. 2 Shaft. The disaster exposed the gap in the industry for effective mine rescue structure that can respond to the emergency rescue needs. The Association consists of rescue teams that are equipped to operate in fresh air and irrespirable atmosphere. It develops operating standards and conducts training for all brigades-persons that are certified to undertake mine rescue. The teams are placed into zones where they provide rescue services within their respective zones. The geographic spread of teams within a zone is structured to ensure the minimum response times to rescue call outs. The country has 3 ones with 12 teams which operation (three mines operate 2 teams each) in irrespirable atmospheres. The mine Rescue Association encourages every mine to operate a fresh air rescue teams that presents the first line of response should there be need. Such teams ensure reduced response times.