Latest News - Vale East Mines tops
Mine rescue volunteers from Vale Canada Ltd.'s East Mines were crowned with gold hard hats by Workplace Safety North and Ontario Mine Rescue as the overall winners of the 64th annual Provincial Mine Rescue Competition in Timmins, June 5 and 6.
The Vale East Mines team consisted of Captain Lorne Plouffe, Will Davies, Justin Whitmore, Jonathan Hamilton, Fred Pelletier, Aime Gagne, Jean Yves Doiron, Perry Simon and Briefing Officer Mike Johnson. The team, which won the Sudbury District competition in May, also earned the First Aid Award.
Seven competing teams from across Ontario, selected in district competitions, were evaluated on their firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment and decision-making ability under stress in a simulated emergency underground at Goldcorp Canada’s Dome Mine.
Denis Prevost, mine rescue technician for First Nickel Inc.’s Lockerby Mine, won the award for top technician. Prevost won the Sudbury District competition in May.
In the closing banquet, Jeff Sowerby, a mine rescue volunteer at Compass Mineral’s Sifto Salt Mine in Goderich, was honoured for 30 years of service to Ontario Mine Rescue.
Mine rescue team members, the backbone of Ontario Mine Rescue, are volunteer mine workers trained by Mine Rescue Officer/Consultants to respond to all types of mine emergencies including fires, explosions and falls of ground.
During the exercise, five-member teams had to descend 150 feet down a raise using fall protection equipment, extinguish a fire, and provide first aid to two miners, rescuing one of them trapped beneath a large tire. The entire operation was conducted “under oxygen” (using self-contained rebreathing apparatus).
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.