B.C. Mine Rescue Teams Battle for Top Spot in Kimberley
Mine rescue teams from across British Columbia gathered last weekend to compete in the 61st annual Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition, becoming part of the rich history of B.C. mine rescue competitions that date back to 1915.
More than 100 years after the first mine rescue competition took place in B.C., mine safety has not only flourished, it has become an art form—one that is perfected and assessed each year at the Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition.
This event pits teams of mine safety and rescue professionals against one another in head-to-head competitions involving simulated mine rescue situations.
“I’d like to thank the men and women on B.C.’s mine rescue teams for their selfless dedication to their fellow miners,” Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines said.
“These individuals devote an extensive amount of time expanding their skills to handle real-life situations, and embody that rare but essential quality – men and women who are sincerely dedicated to others. B.C’s mining industry can take pride in knowing that our mining safety and rescue professionals are world-class and we congratulate you on a job well done.”
The spirited competition is as much an intensive learning opportunity as it is a chance to test emergency response capabilities. Annual events ensure that mine rescue teams throughout the province are trained to the same high standards, and highlight the B.C. mining industry’s commitment to health and safety best practices.
With assistance from a variety of sponsors and volunteers, the Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition, hosted by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, provides an outlet for teams to not only practice and showcase their skills, but to learn from one another—knowledge that is vital in real rescue situations.
Thanks to the ongoing co-operative efforts of mine employees, mine management, unions and regulators, mining continues to be one of the safest heavy industries in British Columbia.
A complete list of the winners follows:
Underground Mine Rescue:
Best Bench Technician Trophy: David Heathfield, Sullivan Mine
USWA Mine Mill Trophy (Best Underground Co-ordinator): New Afton Mine
Richard Booth Award (Best written score for Underground Team): New Afton Mine
Sullivan Cup (Best First Aid by Underground Team): New Afton Mine
Barry Abbott Memorial Trophy (Best Underground Practical Skills): Sullivan Mine
Best Performance in Underground Smoke: Sullivan Mine
Keith Bracewell Memorial Award (Best Obstacle and Recovery): New Afton Mine
Levitt Safety Fire Trophy (Underground): New Afton
Overall Underground winner: New Afton
Three Person Miners’ First Aid:
Three Person First Aid: Greenhills Mine
Kathy Lofstrom Memorial Trophy (Best three-person coach: Amand Cunliffe
Open Pit Mine Rescue:
Ron Brown Memorial (Best Extrication for Surface Team): Elkview Mine
Maurice Boisse Memorial Trophy (Best Practical Bench Skills): Elkview Mine
Levitt Fire Trophy: Greenhills Mine
East Kootenay Mines Industrial Safety Association Trophy (Best Written): Elkview Mine
HVC Highest non-aggregate points: Greenhills Mine
Overall Surface winner: Greenhills Mine
Chief Inspectors Award: Gerry Wong, Highland Valley Copper
Mine rescue has existed in British Columbia to assist in mine emergencies since 1909.
Under the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia, all mines are required to provide emergency response capability. This requirement has made the B.C. mining industry a worldwide model for the mine rescue practices.