Industry Q&A: Underground Emergency Response Co-ordinator

As part of our new Q&A series we interview you, and find out what your job is day to day. In this edition we speak to David Gurr, an underground emergency response coordinator for Mincor Resources.

Australian Mining: What are your primary roles and responsibilities in your job? Give us a day in your working

David Gurr: Checking the readiness of the Mines Rescue equipment, checking the site first aid rooms and ambulances and also the underground refuge chambers and fresh air bases; and dealing with any injuries that may arise during shift.

AM: What training/education did you need for your job?

DG: I was a member of the mines rescue team and showed a real keen interest in this line of work, and Mincor like to promote from within the company so they offered me the job and provided the courses that I needed. I am now currently studying a Cert IV Health Care (Ambulance)

AM: How did you get to where you are today? Give us a bullet point career path.

DG: I joined the Royal Australian Navy after high school at 18 years old and served for 12 years. I learnt a lot about team work and working in different environments. I then had a job working for a mining contractor in the open cut mines around the Hunter Valley operating excavators and bobcats. I then applied with Mincor as I wanted to get into underground mining and they gave me a start as an underground truck driver and I worked my way up from there.

AM: What tools and/or software do you use on a daily basis? 

DG: In the office it's all excel and word, but underground is where I get to play with all the good stuff like rope gear, breathing apparatus, fire equipment and the like.

AM: What is the one thing that you are most proud of in your professional life? 

DG: Getting to the position I am in today from working hard and putting my hand up to give things a go.

AM: Biggest daily challenge? 

DG: Trying to get everyone on board the safety train. Some people think that they are exempt from safety because they have never hurt themselves underground.

AM: Biggest career challenge?

DG: Making the change from being a member of the mines rescue team to actually running the department, things like the training days and ensuring everything is always 100% ready to roll.

AM: What is your biggest frustration in your job?

DG: Trying to promote safety in the underground work environment by giving toolbox talks, then later in the day seeing someone doing the exact opposite of what you talked about at the start of shift.

AM: What is the biggest challenge facing your business?

DG: The current state of the nickel price.

AM: Is there anything else about your job you want Australia to know?

DG: Emergency Response is a great thing to be part of. If your keen to get into it try and become part of your sites Mines Rescue operations. It really is a rewarding job. Even when your mates pay you out saying you don't really work


This article is part of Australian Mining's new industry map, where we try to build a picture of the mining industry job by job. 

To be a part of it and take the Q&A yourself click here.
All entries can be anonymous.


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