Compass Minerals team tops provincial competition

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Goderich mine rescue volunteers crowned with gold hard hats

Back row: Jim Ahrens – Captain, Matt VandenHeuvel – Vice-captain, Chris Lammerant #2, Drew Anderson – Briefing Officer
Front row: Jack Miller #6, Aaron Duckworth #7, Dennis Hogan #3 (absent: Joel Paquette #4)

Mine rescue volunteers from Compass Minerals Goderich Mine were crowned with gold hard hats by Ontario Mine Rescue, a part of Workplace Safety North (WSN), as the overall winners of the 67th annual Provincial Mine Rescue Competition in Sudbury, June 9 and 10.

The Compass Minerals mine rescue team consisted of: Captain Jim Ahrens, Briefing Officer Drew Anderson, Matt VandenHeuvel, Chris Lammerant, Jack Miller, Aaron Duckworth, Dennis Hogan, and Joel Paquette. The team won the Southern District competition in Goderich in May.

The team also won the Team First Aid Award, and by winning the overall competition earned a guaranteed entry into the 2016 International Mines Rescue Competition ( to be held in Sudbury in August.

During this week’s event, seven teams from across Ontario, selected in district competitions, were evaluated on their knowledge, firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment and decision-making ability under stress in simulated underground emergencies at the NORCAT Underground Centre (formerly Fecunis Mine) in Levack, near Sudbury.

Jason Leclair, mine rescue technician for Barrick Gold, Hemlo Operations, won the award for top technician. Leclair won the Thunder Bay/Algoma District competition in May.

In the closing banquet, two mine rescue volunteers: Dick Shoemaker and Calvin Martin, both from Compass Minerals, Goderich Mine were 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 Officers to respond to all types of mine emergencies including fires, explosions and falls of ground.

During the two-day exercise the teams had to find three missing miners underground, providing first aid to two; extinguish an underground fire; and using emergency extrication equipment rescue and provide first aid to a worker trapped in a vehicle on surface.

Competing mine rescue teams represented Compass Mineral, Goderich Mine (Southern District); Goldcorp Canada, Red Lake Gold Mine (Red Lake District); North American Palladium, Lac des Iles Mine (Thunder Bay/Algoma District); Lake Shore Gold (Timmins District); Alamos Gold Ltd.’s Young-Davidson Mine (Kirkland Lake District); Glencore Sudbury INO, (Onaping District); and Vale Canada Ltd., West Mines (Sudbury District).

Awards presented:

First overall – Compass Minerals, Goderich Mine
Overall runner-up – Lake Shore Gold
1st - Jason Leclair, Barrick Gold, Hemlo Operations
2nd - Drew Dalgleish, Compass Minerals, Goderich Mine
3rd - Brian Melis, KGHM
Team Firefighting – Vale Canada, West Mines
Team First Aid – Compass Minerals, Goderich Mine
Team Special Equipment – Glencore Sudbury INO.

This year’s competition is co-hosted by: Vale Canada Ltd., Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operation, and KGHM. The event is sponsored by: Drager Safety; Fountain Tire; NORCAT; Day Group; Northern Medical Supply; Code 4 Fire and Rescue; Lake Shore Gold; Technica Mining; Zetec; SPI Health and Safety; Dumas Contracting Ltd.; DMC Mining Services; MSA; Acklands Grainger; Levitt Safety; Honeywell; North American Palladium - Lac des Iles Mine; Vallen; Pelican Products Inc.; Rocvent Inc.; Interconcrete Ltd.; and Miller Technology.