The Fosterville Gold Mine Emergency Response Team from Bendigo in Central Victoria, has defeated nine other teams from across the country to win the annual Victorian Underground Mine Rescue Competition held in Bendigo during August.
Fosterville finished in the top three in the seven exercises in the competition, demonstrating consistently high emergency response skills. The points won by the three teams placed 1st to 3rd were separated by less than 2.5%.
Second place went to Northparkes Emergency Response Team (Goonumbla, central west New South Wales) and third place to Ballarat Goldfields Emergency Response Team (Ballarat, Victoria).
The participating mine rescue and emergency response teams competed in seven exercises, testing emergency response theory, rescue skills, first aid, breathing apparatus, fire fighting, search and rescue and rope rescue capabilities.
Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) Assistant Director for Safety and Health Megan Davison said the Underground Mine Rescue Competition provides practical training experience to members of mining operations, encouraging them to apply teamwork to build skills that are vital to any emergency rescue squad.
“Every year this highly regarded national competition is over subscribed with teams placed on a waiting list in the event that another team has to pull out. The competition is designed to improve the safety and health of all people involved in the mining industry and to provide realistic and practical training to the mine site rescue teams,” she said.
The industry’s continual commitment to the health and safety of its workforce has resulted in very few emergency incidents occurring on mine sites. To enable response teams to test their skills and identify areas of improvement accentuates the critical role that mine rescue competitions have. Three days of intensive exercises replicating potential real life scenarios provides teams with invaluable training across a range of skills.
“The competition fosters strong team spirit, competitiveness and good-will among the rescue teams as seen with 200 people attending the presentation.
“I congratulate all participating team members for their spirit of competitive good-will and their commitment to emergency response.
“This competition is an important part of the MCA’s health and safety strategy. Our goal of zero fatalities and injuries remains the minerals industry’s top value and commitment.”