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Ontario mine rescuers gearing up for provincial competition

Provincewide test of skills gets underway in June
2022-05-11 Team Lake Shore Gold SUP
In Timmins, Lake Shore Gold's mine rescue team was victorious in the district. From back left to right are, briefing officer (BO) Adam Weagle (Bell Creek), captain Brandon Duhan (Bell Creek), Frank Moller No. 3 (Bell Creek), Serge Roy No. 6 (Bell Creek) and technician Edmond Laverdure (Bell Creek). Front left to right Richard Martin No. 2 (Bell Creek), Natalie Lafontaine No. 4 (Bell Creek) and Shane Sullivan No. 5 (Timmins West).

Across the North, the men and women trained in mine rescue are gearing up to showcase their skills during the annual Ontario Mine Rescue competition.

In 2022, the provincial competition will take place June 6-10 at Vale's Creighton Mine in Sudbury.

It's the first such event to take place since the last iteration in 2019, which was held in Red Lake. Mine rescue competition has been paused since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In preparation, the winning teams in each of the eight districts across Ontario gathered May 2-6 to test their skills and aptitude in a series of mock scenarios that mimic emergencies at a mine site.

Teams were put through their paces while being evaluated in areas such as general knowledge, firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment, and decision-making ability under stress.

From Timmins, a team from Lake Shore Gold, comprised of members from the company's Bell Creek and Timmins West sites, was declared the winner.

"Competing teams had to deal with scenarios that included multiple emergencies in both the underground and on surface including mechanical failures, fire and various other challenges," explained Marcel Cardinal, Lake Shore Gold's director of environmental and sustainability. 

"The teams competed over the days with technicians showing their skills relating to breathing apparatuses and other devices."

From Marathon, a team from Barrick Hemlo came out on top, and from Thunder Bay, a team from Newmont's Musselwhite Mine was declared the top performer.

In operation since 1929, Ontario Mine Rescue staffs, equips and maintains a network of mine rescue stations across the province that ensure mines within a specified geographic area have adequate emergency response capability.

Ontario Mine Rescue is headquartered in Sudbury.

— With files from TimminsToday