(a) The Legislature finds that the health and safety of persons working in and around the mining industry and other industries is of paramount concern to the people of West Virginia and that deaths and serious injuries resulting from dangerous working conditions cause grief and suffering to workers and their families. The Legislature further finds that there is an urgent need to provide more effective means and measures for improving emergency response and communications for dealing with mine and industrial accidents. The Legislature declares that it is in the best interest of the citizens of West Virginia to designate an emergency telephone number for mining or industrial personnel to initiate a rapid emergency response to any mine or industrial accident. Provision of a single, primary emergency number through which emergency services can be quickly and efficiently obtained and through which the response of various state agencies charged by law with responding to mine and industrial emergencies can be coordinated will significantly contribute to the public good. The Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System will provide a vital resource to the citizens of West Virginia by providing a critical connection between the Director of the Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local and regional emergency services organizations and other responsible agencies.
(b) The Mine and Industrial Accident Rapid Response System is hereby created and shall consist of:
(1) The Mine and Industrial Accident Emergency Operations Center established in section two of this article; and
(2) The 24-hour-a-day statewide telephone number established by the Director of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.