Shawn Rideout, Chief Mine Rescue Officer at Ontario Mine Rescue, received the national Mining Safety Leadership Medal from the Canadian Institute for Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum at its annual convention awards gala this month.
Shawn Rideout awarded Mining Safety Leadership Medal
This month, Shawn Rideout, Chief Mine Rescue Officer at Ontario Mine Rescue, and Stephanie Bleker, Manager of Vale Totten Mine, received the Mining Safety Leadership Medal from the Canadian Institute for Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum at its annual convention awards gala.
The award was in recognition of the planning and execution of the safe evacuation of Vale’s Totten Mine, September 26-29, 2021.
“We are honoured that Ontario’s Chief Mine Rescue Officer has been recognized by his mining peers for the dedicated work put into the Totten mine evacuation,” says Ted Hanley, Vice President of Ontario Mine Rescue at Workplace Safety North. “The CIM Mining Safety Leadership Medal is reserved for an exceptional contribution towards improving mining health and safety results within the mining industry in Canada. I can think of no better example than the work done last year to ensure 39 miners made it home safe to their families.”
Last year, Rideout co-ordinated the rescue effort to evacuate 39 miners from the Vale Totten Mine. "There are very few mine rescue operations during which so many volunteer responders must contribute to so many unique and extensive components," says Hanley, "and the fact that this was coordinated safely, without incident or injury, is an achievement that Rideout and Bleker should be extremely proud of.
“In his role as Chief Mine Rescue Officer for the province, Shawn oversees the staff of District Mine Rescue Officers, as well as a province-wide inventory of mine rescue response equipment, to ensure emergency response capability at all operating mines within Ontario," says Hanley.
The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum is the leading not-for-profit technical society of professionals in the Canadian minerals, metals, materials and energy industries. Operating since 1898, the organization has more than 10,000 members.
A Timmins native, Rideout’s prior mining background is rooted in operations and contract mining. He served as an active mine rescue volunteer responder in the Timmins District before joining Ontario Mine Rescue in his current role based out of the Sudbury headquarters.
During his seven years in the role, Rideout has worked quickly to improve standards and procedure, modernized equipment, and drastically improved the capacity and availability of mitigating controls available to the many Ontario mine operators in the form of mine rescue response should an unexpected event occur.
Since 1929, the Ontario Mine Rescue program has been a standardized province-wide collaboration between all mine operators working to ensure emergency response capability and reduce the risk profile of the work performed by more than 900 Ontario volunteer responders.
For more information, visit https://www.workplacesafetynorth.ca/subsite/ontario-mine-rescue