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Lead man

Posted by Miri Barak on June 23, 2005

I would like to know what is the meaning of "lead man". in the following context:
The context:
, someone smells smoke in a silver mine and the following dialog takes place:

HOST VO
It was the end of a routine spring day in 1972 for shaft repairman Ben Sheppard. He had come off the graveyard shift and was riding the mine train when a coworker asked if he smelled smoke.

BEN SHEPPARD VO
Our *lead man* said, "Man, I smell smoke. Did you smell that smoke?" And I said, "Yes I did." And Ray Rudick just lit a cigarette with a match. Underground.

Thank you very much