Mine rescue teams to compete

Monday, April 22, 2019

More than 20 Ontario mines to test their emergency response skills

Mine rescue competition with Kirkland Lake Gold teamMine rescue teams from more than 20 Ontario mines will mark the 90th anniversary of Ontario Mine Rescue by testing their emergency response skills and knowledge May 8 to 10 in district mine rescue competitions across the province.

Ontario Mine Rescue was established in 1929, a year after an underground fire at the Hollinger Mine in Timmins claimed the lives of 39 miners. Over the ensuing years, OMR has evolved from a fire service to full emergency response service for all underground emergencies.

The competitions organized by Ontario Mine Rescue, a part of Workplace Safety North, will test the teams’ knowledge, firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment, and decision-making ability under stress in a simulated underground emergency.

Mine rescue equipment technicians from each mine will also compete in a test of their abilities to service, diagnose and repair the specialized equipment used by teams.

The public and media are welcome to attend district competitions to give communities a chance to see highly trained volunteers in action. Competitions will take place in:

• Red Lake and Thunder Bay districts – Cochenour Arena, Red Lake

o All technicians, May 9
o Thunder Bay District teams, May 8
o Red Lake District teams, May 9

• Sudbury and Onaping districts – McClelland Community Centre, Copper Cliff 

o Onaping District, May 8
o Sudbury District, May 9

• Southern District – Goderich Memorial Arena, Goderich, May 9

• Timmins and Kirkland Lake districts – Archie Dillon Sportsplex, Timmins, May 8-9

o Timmins District Technicians, Northern College, May 7
o Kirkland Lake District Technicians, Kirkland Lake Mine Rescue Station, May 7

• Algoma District – Michipicoten Memorial CC, Wawa, May 8-9

The winner of each district competition will compete in the 2019 Provincial Competition, June 4 to 7, at Newmont Goldcorp’s Red Lake Gold Mines in Red Lake.

Mine rescue competitions, which started in Ontario in 1950, are as much intensive learning opportunities as a chance to test emergency response capabilities. The competitions ensure that mine rescue volunteers across the province are trained to the same high standards.

Mine rescue team members, the backbone of Ontario Mine Rescue, are volunteer mine workers trained by Mine Rescue Officers to respond to all types of mine emergencies including fires, explosions and falls of ground. 

Under the authority of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and headquartered in Sudbury, 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.

Workplace Safety North 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.

For more information, visit Ontario Mine Rescue website.