Mine rescue teams from throughout British Columbia came together on the weekend of June 8 to test their mettle in the 63rd annual Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition. Two mines in the area—New Afton near Kamloops and Highland Valley Copper near Logan Lake—were the overall underground winner and overall surface mine winner respectively.
“Each and every day, the professional mine safety and rescue personnel at British Columbia’s mines play a critical role in keeping workers safe and making mining one of the safest heavy industries in B.C.,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “Thank you to all of the women and men who participated in this year’s Mine Rescue and First Aid competition, and congratulations to this year’s winners.”
The Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition, pits teams of mine safety and rescue professionals from around the province against one another in head-to-head competitions involving simulated mine rescue situations.
The competition provides mine rescue teams with an intensive learning opportunity and a chance to test their emergency response capabilities against one another. This annual event ensures that British Columbia’s mine rescue teams are trained to the same high standards, and highlights the B.C. mining industry’s commitment to health-and-safety best practices.
With assistance from sponsors and volunteers, the Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition, hosted by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, provides an opportunity for teams to practice and showcase their skills, and to learn from one another: knowledge that is vital in real rescue situations.
Through the ongoing co-operative efforts of mine employees, mine management, unions, and regulators, mining continues to be one of the safest heavy industries in B.C.
Mine rescue has existed in B.C. 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 capabilities. This requirement has made the B.C. mining industry a worldwide model for mine rescue practices.
Following are all the winners from this year’s Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition:
John T. Ryan National Mine Safety Award: New Gold Inc.–New Afton Mine (regional winner for BC Yukon metal mines division)
Chief Inspectors Award (Team): Orica Sand and Gravel
Chief Inspectors Award (Individual): Kelly Miller
Underground mine rescue:
Best Bench Technician Trophy: Dave Heathfield (Sullivan Mine)
USWA Mine Mill Trophy (Best Underground Coordinator): Travis Murphy, Bruce Jack
Richard Booth Award (Best written score for Underground Team): New Afton
Sullivan Cup (Best First Aid by Underground Team): New Afton
Barry Abbott Memorial Trophy (Best Underground Practical Skills): New Afton
Best Performance in Underground Smoke: New Afton
Keith Bracewell Memorial Award (Best Obstacle and Recovery): Silvertip
Levitt Safety Fire Trophy (Underground): Bruce Jack
Overall Underground winner: New Afton
Three Person Miners’ First Aid:
Three Person First Aid (Best three-person team): Line Creek
Kathy Lofstrom Memorial Trophy (Best three-person coach): Sandy Duncan (Line Creek)
Open Pit Mine Rescue:
Ron Brown Memorial (Best Extrication for Surface Team): Gibraltar
Maurice Boisse Memorial Trophy (Best Practical Bench Skills): Highland Valley Copper
Levitt Fire Trophy: Highland Valley Copper
East Kootenay Mines Industrial Safety Association Trophy (Best Written): Line Creek
North South Central First Aid Trophy (Best First Aid): Highland Valley Copper
EKMISA Best Surface Rope Task Sponsored by TNT Work and Rescue: Highland Valley Copper
HVC Highest non-aggregate points: Highland Valley Copper
Overall surface mine rescue winner (Highest aggregate Best Overall): Highland Valley Copper