A century of mine rescue

The Miners Hall of Fame celebrated 100 years of the Goldfields’ mine emergency response competition this weekend.

The 2011 Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) surface mining emergency response competition featured 19 teams, including one from New South Wales.

West Australian mines and petroleum minister Norman Moore highlighted the importance of the CME event, stating “these competitions assure industry and the community that teams are well trained and capable of responding to mine emergencies and keep the focus on safety.

“Rather than simply being a training run, the added pressure of being timed, observed and judged creates a stressful environment that provides more realism. Participating in events and getting constructive feedback is useful for honing and maintaining skills.”

The teams competed across nine different scenarios, including rope rescue, fire fighting, Hazchem and incident management.

“The work done in putting together such realistic scenarios cannot be underestimated. We all hope you never have to face a real emergency but, if you do, the skills and knowledge you have acquired could help to save a workmate,” he said.

South Australia also recently held its own mines rescue competition in the State.

Hosted by the South Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy (SACOME), The Emergency Rescue competition saw BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam team win for the second year running.

SACOME’s Jonathon Forbes said it was as much a training and learning event as a competition, the Roxby Downs Sun reported.

“The competitors were faced with challenges such as freeing victims from a road crash, searching and rescuing people from smoke filled rooms, lowering an injured person from a high tower and search and rescue underground, often to sounds and sights of realistic injuries played out by convincing volunteers,” Forbes said.

The competition also gave a “special award for ‘best performance’, which was won by a girl simulating an industrial vehicle accident underground…she had a simulated burn on her arm, so acted that out, then included shortness of breath, shaking, pretend vomiting and asthma,” Forbes added.

The South Australian event included theory tests as well as practical events.

Image: Roxby Downs Sun

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