Mine Rescue Competition Stresses Safety

The Winners at the Ontario Mine Rescue Competition
The Winners at the Ontario Mine Rescue Competition

North American Palladium
North American Palladium is ahead of Company goals at Lac Des Milles Mine

MARATHON – MINING – Mine rescue volunteers from North American Palladium Lac des Iles Mine were crowned champions by Workplace Safety North and Ontario Mine Rescue as the overall winners of the 2017 Thunder Bay/Algoma District Mine Rescue Competition in Marathon, May 11.

The North American Palladium Lac des Iles Mine team consisted of Captain Mike Newbold, Rylan Vesa, Dave Chony, Cody Vold, Justin Wilson, Cyle Wheeldon, Mike Van Roon, and Briefing Officer Trevor Puumala.

Four mine rescue teams from across the district were evaluated on their firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment and decision-making ability under stress in a simulated underground emergency at the Marathon Arena.

Steeve Pinel, mine rescue technician for Richmont Mines – Island Gold Mine, won the award for top technician.

Competing mine rescue teams represented Barrick Gold – Hemlo Operations, Wesdome Gold Mines – Eagle River Mine, Richmont Mines – Island Gold Mine, and North American Palladium – Lac des Iles Mine.

Steeve Pinel and the North American Palladium Lac des Iles Mine team will represent Thunder Bay/Algoma District at the 68th annual Ontario Mine Rescue Provincial Competition, June 7 to 9, at Compass Minerals Goderich Mine in Goderich.

They will compete against:

Kirkland Lake District  – Kirkland Lake Gold North Complex

Red Lake District – Goldcorp Musselwhite Mine

Sudbury District – Vale West Mines

Onaping District – Glencore Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations

Thunder Bay/Algoma District – North American Palladium

Timmins District – Tahoe Canada

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.

During the exercise five-member teams had to extinguish an electrical fire, find and rescue two miners – one unconscious and severely injured, the second trapped in a room blocked by fallen debris, and cope with the “loss” of their team captain midway through the event.

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.