Ontario Mine Rescue

Mine Rescue goes to University

Mine Rescue Officer Wally Adler demonstrates a thermal imaging camera to Queen's University mining student James Procopio.

While thousands of new and returning university students enjoying Frosh Week crowded the streets of Queen’s University in Kingston, a handful of mining engineering students started class early by taking the Introductory Mine Rescue Course for Students.

“I jumped at the opportunity,” said Chris Zegarac, one of the few students familiar with mine rescue before attending the course. “I first got into mine rescue last year in Kirkland Lake” while on a job placement, said the student, who found the experience eye-opening.

“Safety is a big part of mining and I wanted to see the practical side of it,” said student Harman Khosa, echoing other students, explaining their motivation to be in class learning to disassemble and assemble a BG4 breathing apparatus rather than outside celebrating.

The nine students, most in their fourth year, taking the course covered the same material and used the same equipment as new mine rescue volunteers taking the Introductory course, though in a slightly compressed week. They learned about the MX6 multi-gas monitor, standard equipment, mine rescue procedures and more.

They also went under oxygen and experience a smoke-filled environment, created for Queen’s students at the Kingston Fire and Rescue’s Fire Training Facility. They had to search a large empty room to find a missing “miner” and load the body into a stretcher.

Most found the experience of walking blind in smoke unsettling.

“It was difficult to think through getting out” of the smoke once the miner was recovered, said Erin Murphy, one of two female students in the course.

Ontario Mine Rescue has trained students for more than 30 years beginning with an arrangement with the former Haileybury School of Mines. Mine Rescue Officer Wally Adler has visited Queens annually for about 10 years to instruct students, while students from Laurentian University and Cambrian College attend courses at the Sudbury Mine Rescue Station.

The course does not count for credit to their degrees, but “I think it would look good on a resume,” said Sandy Archer.

“I think it (mine rescue) is an integral part of mining, something you don’t normally hear about,” said graduate student Denver Cowan, but something everyone working in the industry should be at least aware of.


Welcome to our New Mine Rescue Officers

mike krell dan Rulli
Mike Krell Dan Rulli

Workplace Safety North is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Ontario Mine Rescue Officers. Mike Krell will assume responsibility for the Algoma Mine Rescue Station in the Thunder Bay/Algoma District, and Dan Rulli will assume responsibility for the Delaware Mine Rescue Station in Southern District.

Mike joins WSN from Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd Eagle River Mine outside of Wawa. He received his Introductory Mine Rescue training in 2009 while at Wesdome, and has served as an active Mine Rescue volunteer in the Thunder Bay/Algoma District since that time.

Mike holds both Technician and Advanced Mine Rescue certifications, and received his certification as a firefighter from Lambton College in 2000. A resident of Wawa, Mike served as a member of the Wawa volunteer fire department, in addition to his duties as captain of the Wesdome Eagle River Mine Rescue Team.

Dan joins WSN from the Canadian Gypsum Corporation Hagersville Mine (CGC Inc. a part of USG). He received his Introductory Mine Rescue training in 2004 while at CGC, and has served as an active Mine Rescue volunteer in the Southern District since.

Dan holds both Technician and Advanced Mine Rescue certifications, and most recently won the 2015 Ontario Mine Rescue Provincial Technician Competition in Thunder Bay. A resident of southern Ontario, Dan brings with him extensive experience in soft rock mining operations unique to that corner of the province.

Welcome to Ontario Mine Rescue.


A Thank You and a Welcome

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes

Ontario Mine Rescue, a part of Workplace Safety North, wishes to thank Emmett Houston, and welcome Neil MacInnes of Dumas Contracting Ltd.

Houston, is stepping down as the Ontario Mine Contractors Safety Association industry representative on the Ontario Mine Rescue Technical Advisory Committee. During his years on the committee, Houston has been involved in numerous projects, including updating the Guidelines for Mine Rescue Refuge Stations, and leading an ongoing study on a mobile device application for mine rescue teams.

MacInnes, field superintendent, safety & training for Dumas, will be the new Ontario Mine Contractors Safety Association industry representative on the Ontario Mine Rescue TAC. MacInnes has more than 25 experience as a volunteer with OMR.


Welcome to OMR's new Chief Mine Rescue Officer

Shawn Rideout
Shawn Rideout

Workplace Safety North is pleased to announce Shawn Rideout will join the Ontario Mine Rescue program as Chief Mine Rescue Officer, reporting to the General Manager, Ontario Mine Rescue effective June 22, 2015.

Shawn will work closely with Charlie Burton, current Supervisor of Mine Rescue, and will assume responsibility for oversight of all training and emergency response activities within the province upon Burton’s retirement later this year.

Shawn received his Introductory Mine Rescue Training in 2006 while working at Falconbridge Kidd Creek Mine, now Glencore Kidd Operations in Timmins. Since then he has served as a mine rescue volunteer in the Timmins District, and also completed his Technician, Advanced and Management Mine Rescue certifications.

As captain of the Dumas Contracting Ltd. Mine Rescue team in the 2015 Provincial Competition, Shawn lead the first-ever contractor team to win awards at the provincial level taking top honours in the use of rescue and extrication equipment. Prior to this year Shawn was a member of five Timmins District Mine Rescue Competition winning teams, and one provincial championship winning team.

At Kidd Operations, Shawn held underground supervisory roles before joining Dumas in 2013 to oversee mobile maintenance operations at their Timmins facility.

Congratulations Shawn.


About Us

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.

Ontario Mine Rescue video