Close but no cigar
QUEENSLAND mines rescue teams just miss out - but everyone safer for the experience
Wednesday 26 October 2016
A team from South 32’s Wollongong based Appin Colliery have narrowly beaten Central Queensland’s Oaky North team in the 54th Australian Underground Mines Rescue Competition held at Rio Tinto's Kestrel mine last week.
While there was some “daylight” between the first two teams and the other six, overall, the competition was very close with just a 50 to 80 point spread across the entire contest.
Manager of Queensland Mines Rescue Ray Smith, told Shift Miner while there were winners and losers - every team participating showed a very high level of competence.
“It’s hard to say what separates first from eighth because everyone is doing an outstanding job,” he said.
“We set the tasks and look at how teams meet the requirements we are looking for in that particular exercise.
"While they will often meet the vast majority of requirements, some teams might miss a few and are scored accordingly.
“However competition aside, this is a great opportunity for everyone to share knowledge and I think the Queensland teams got a lot out of the virtual reality tasks this year.
“All our rescue workers left the event feeling more confident about how to respond to safety incidents, and that, in turn, means other miners will feel more confident about approaching them on safety issues.”
The annual event involves eight mines rescue and emergency response teams from across Queensland and New South Wales competing in a range of simulated emergency situations.
There were a few notable achievements among the teams competing for Queensland this year.
Glencore had both their Oaky Creek rescue teams represented for the first time, Anglo’s Grosvenor team made the final four after just two years of operation, and the team from Caledon’s Cook Colliery were competing for the national title for the first time in 28 years.
Kestrel Mine acting General Manager Wouter Niehaus said Rio Tinto was proud to support the competition.
“It plays an important role in helping to continually improve safety in Australian mines,” he said.“The safety of our people is our priority, and this requires continuous planning and training for emergency situations, and mines rescue competitions put their skills to the test.”
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