Workplace Safety North (WSN) and Ontario Mine Rescue crowned mine rescuers from Glencore Xstrata Copper, Kidd Operations, with gold hard hats as the overall winners of the 63rd annual Ontario Mine Rescue Competition in Windsor, June 6 and 7.
The Glencore Xstrata Copper, Kidd Operations team consisted of Captain Jason Leger, Marc Villars, Stewart Labine, Guy Champagne, Ted Hanley, Danny Morin, and Briefing Officer Shawn Rideout. The team also won the Timmins District competition in May.
Seven competing teams from across Ontario, selected in district competitions, were evaluated on their firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment and decision-making ability under stress in a simulated underground environment at the South Windsor Recreation Centre.
Denis Bilodeau, mine rescue technician for Barrick Gold, Hemlo Operations near Marathon, won the award for top technician.
Gilbert Wahl, a mine rescue volunteer at Wesdome Gold Mine, was honoured for 40 years of service to Ontario Mine Rescue, while Jim Nault and Jim Davis, mine rescue volunteers at Glencore Xstrata Copper, Kidd Operations, and Doug Osborne, a volunteer at the Canadian Salt Company’s Objiway Mine were honoured for 30 years of service.
Mine rescue team members, the backbone of Ontario Mine Rescue, are volunteer mine workers trained by Mine Rescue Officer-Consultants to respond to all types of mine emergencies including fires, explosions and falls of ground.
During the exercise five-member teams had to extinguished two fires and restore ventilation to the mine by building a bulkhead and turning on a fan. They also had to bring two miners, isolated underground because of the fires, to the surface. One was suffering burns. These rescues were conducted “under oxygen” (using self-contained rebreathing apparatus).
Competing mine rescue teams represented Canadian Gypsum Co., Hagersville Mine (Southern District); Goldcorp Canada, Musselwhite Mine (Red Lake District); Wesdome Gold Mine (Thunder Bay-Algoma District); Glencore Xstrata Copper, Kidd Operations (Timmins District), Kirkland Lake Gold (Kirkland Lake District); Glencore Xstrata Nickel (Onaping District); and Vale, West Mines (Sudbury District).
Other awards included:
Overall runner-up – Glencore Xstrata Nickel, Sudbury Operations
Technician runner-up – 2nd Jesse Vaillancourt (AuRico Gold Inc., Kirkland Lake District); 3rd David Payne (Goldcorp Canada, Porcupine Gold Mine,Timmins District)
Team Firefighting – Wesdome Gold Mine Ltd.
Team First Aid – Canadian Gypsum Company
Team Special Equipment – Vale, West Mines
This year’s competition was co-hosted by the Canadian Salt Company Ltd., Sifto Canada and CGC Inc. The event was sponsored by Drager Safety, Technica Mining, Acklands Grainger, Code 4 Fire and Rescue, Canadian Safety Equipment , Dynamic Safety International, and A & L Auto Recyclers.
Ontario Mine Rescue is a part of Workplace Safety North, which provides products and services to promote workplace health and safety in the mining, forestry, and paper, printing and converting industries, as well as workplaces across northern Ontario.