Ontario Mine Rescue, a part of Workplace Safety North (WSN), has trained and equipped thousands of volunteers who have fought fires, rescued injured personnel, and responded professionally to a wide array of incidents in the province's mines over the past eight decades.
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.
Our role includes delivering training to first responders, providing consultations, conducting periodic audits, ensuring WSN-owned equipment is maintained to manufacturers' recommended standards, and providing advice during mine emergencies.
Since its creation in 1929, Ontario Mine Rescue has established a reputation for high standards in training, equipment and emergency response, as well as in the development of safe, effective mine rescue practices. We have served as a role model for the establishment of training and safety programs for mine rescue organizations in other provinces and countries.
WSN maintains a Mine Rescue Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) that provides advice and guidance to Ontario Mine Rescue. Under the leadership of the committee, we remain committed to continual improvement, ensuring the mining industry's mine rescue needs are met.
OMR in the News
CBC spoke with the head of Ontario Mine Rescue, Alex Gryska, about the idea of expanding the mandate of mine rescue. The Elliot Lake mall collapse report suggested the service could possibly expanded be to above ground emergencies.
Training the Trainers
Red Lake District Mine Rescue Officer Grant Saunders uses an eDraulic cutter under the direction of trainer Jason Defosse to cut through the steering column of a vehicle this week as MRO/consultants received training in the new Hurst eDraulic rescue equipment being issued to each district this month.
The MROs will begin training mine rescue volunteers in the tools this fall. The tools - the spreader, cutter and ram, will replace the hydraulic spreader currently in use, and give mine rescuers more options in responding to non-fire emergencies, particularly incidents requiring extrication equipment. They are powered by lithium ion batteries that eliminate the need for hydraulic hoses and a compressor, allowing quicker deployment, quieter operation, and less clutter in an incident scene.
Heat Stress Report and Standard Released
A Mine Rescue Heat Stress Report, including an Ontario Mine Rescue Heat Exposure Standard, has been released by Ontario Mine Rescue (OMR) to help provincial mines encountering higher temperatures in their mining operations.
The new Heat Exposure Standard is now part of OMR’s operating procedures for mine rescue teams, while the report advises mining operations on heat stress and how to minimize the risk of heat stress for their mine rescue teams.
Both the standard and the report are available for free download.
Approximately a dozen mine rescuers in Poland, the United States, China and South Africa have died from heat stress disorders in different incidents during the past 15 years. Heat stress disorders are a spectrum of health issues from mild to severe with potentially fatal results as the body attempts to control a rising core temperature.
These incidents and a growing awareness of the issue here as Ontario mines reach new depths and encounter hotter operating temperatures, prompted Ontario Mine Rescue to prepare the report and determine a standard for its volunteer mine rescuers.
The standard and report will be accompanied by training by OMR beginning this fall.