Highland Valley Copper mine rescue personnel came out on top at a recent competition. Photo: Highland Valley Teck.

Highland Valley Copper mine rescue personnel came out on top at a recent competition. Photo: Highland Valley Teck.

Two local mines take top honours in rescue competition

New Afton and Highland Valley Copper were winners in their respective divisions.

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


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