The rescue team from Bulga coal mine has taken top honours at the annual Mines Rescue Open Cut competition.
Seven Hunter Valley teams competed at the Hunter Valley Mines Rescue Station with the help of NSW Fire and Rescue, NSW Ambulance, and the Rural Fire Service.
Bulga team captain Clayton Moore said the day wasn’t about winning.
“Sure it’s great that we did win but the day was really about learning. Even as the winning team we learnt a lot,” he said.
Mines Rescue regional manager David Connell said each team demonstrated exceptional skills.
“Many of the rescue team members commit their own time to learning and practising the techniques that may help save the life of a workmate,” he said.
“These people are confident, skilled and competent to take charge and lead a response.”
NSW industry group Coal Services said there had been 143 lost time injuries in the last financial year, excluding contractors, labour hire, and coal preparation plant employees.
“Given the frequency of incidents, it is critical that onsite rescue personnel have a good team dynamic, understanding of roles and responsibilities, good communication and high level skills in problem solving and hazard identification,” Coal Services said.
“With mine sites located outside of major regional areas, the first response will be provided by trained onsite personnel in the event of an incident.
“Experience has shown that the first five minutes is critical in obtaining a successful outcome in major incidents. Onsite response is the only way to achieve this.”