Seven mine rescue teams from across Ontario will test their emergency response knowledge and skills in the 66th annual Provincial Mine Rescue Competition at Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, Thursday and Friday, June 11 and 12.
The competition organized by Ontario Mine Rescue, a part of Workplace Safety North, will test the teams’ knowledge, firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment and decision-making ability under stress in a simulated underground emergency at the Gardens.
The Honourable Kevin Flynn, Ontario Minister of Labour, will attend the competition both days, and speak at the awards banquet Friday evening at the Valhalla Inn. Special guests include Jean Proulx, head of Service Sauvetage Minier du Québec, and senior mine rescue officials from Colombia’s Agencia Nacional de Mineria.
This is the first major Ontario mining event since the release of the Mining Health, Safety and Prevention Review in April. Ontario Mine Rescue was recognized in the review as being a strong, respected and effective emergency response system. The provincial competition gives communities a chance to see highly trained volunteers in action.
The public and media are welcome to attend the competition, which will start at 6 a.m. each day. Visitors, including the media, are asked not to share competition details, photos and video until the competition ends, approximately 6 p.m. Friday, June 12.
Competing mine rescue teams are:
- Compass Mineral, Goderich Mine (Southern District)
- Goldcorp Canada, Red Lake Gold Mines (Red Lake District)
- Barrick Hemlo (Thunder Bay/Algoma District)
- Dumas Contracting Ltd. (Timmins District)
- AuRico Gold (Kirkland Lake District)
- Glencore Sudbury INO, (Onaping District)
- Vale, West Mines (Sudbury District).
Mine rescue competitions, which started in 1950, are as much intensive learning opportunities as a chance to test emergency response capabilities. The competitions ensure that mine rescue volunteers across the province are trained to the same high standards.
Mine rescue team members, the backbone of Ontario Mine Rescue, are volunteer mine workers trained by Mine Rescue Officers to respond to all types of mine emergencies including fires, explosions and falls of ground.
Under the authority of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and headquartered in Sudbury, Ontario Mine Rescue staffs, equips and maintains a network of mine rescue stations across the province that ensure mines within a specified geographic area have adequate emergency response capability.
This year’s competition is co-hosted by: Goldcorp Canada Red Lake Mines and Musselwhite Mine, and Rubicon Minerals – Phoenix Gold Project. The event is sponsored by: Drager Safety; Technica Mining; Fountain Tire; Zetec; Dumas Contracting Ltd.; DMC Mining Services; Dyno Nobel; Manroc Developments Inc.; Sling Choker Manufacturing Ltd.; MSA; Acklands Grainger; Dynamic Safety International; Levitt Safety; Tetra Tech Canada; and SPI Health and Safety.
Ontario Mine Rescue is a part of Workplace Safety North, which provides products and services to promote workplace health and safety in the mining, forestry, and paper, printing and converting industries, as well as workplaces across Ontario.