Vale mine rescuers tops in Ontario

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Mine rescue volunteers from Vale Canada Ltd.’s East Mines were crowned with gold hard hats by Workplace Safety North (WSN) and Ontario Mine Rescue as the overall winners of the 64th annual Provincial Mine Rescue Competition in Timmins, June 5 and 6, 2014.

Miner undergroundThe Vale East Mines team consisted of Captain Lorne Plouffe, Will Davies, Justin Whitmore, Jonathan Hamilton, Fred Pelletier, Aime Gagne, Jean Yves Doiron, Perry Simon and Briefing Officer Mike Johnson. The team, which won the Sudbury District competition in May, also earned the First Aid Award.

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 emergency underground at Goldcorp Canada’s Dome Mine.

Denis Prevost, mine rescue technician for First Nickel Inc.’s Lockerby Mine, won the award for top technician. Prevost won the Sudbury District competition in May.

In the closing banquet, Jeff Sowerby, a mine rescue volunteer at Compass Mineral’s Sifto Salt Mine in Goderich, was honoured for 30 years of service to Ontario Mine Rescue. 

3 miners surround gurneyMine 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 descend 150 feet down a raise using fall protection equipment, extinguish a fire, provide first aid to two miners, rescuing one of them trapped beneath a large tire. The entire operation was conducted “under oxygen” (using self-contained rebreathing apparatus). 

Competing mine rescue teams represented Compass Mineral, Sifto Salt (Southern District); Goldcorp Canada, Red Lake Gold Mine #2 (Red Lake District); Richmont Mines’ Island Gold Mine and Mill (Thunder Bay/Algoma District); Kidd Operations, a Glencore Company (Timmins District); St. Andrew Goldfield Ltd. (Kirkland Lake District); Sudbury INO, a Glencore Company (Onaping District); and Vale, East Mines (Sudbury District). 


Awards presented:

First overall – Vale East Mines

Overall runner-up – Compass Minerals, Sifto, Sifto Salt Goderich


  • 1st Denis Prevost, First Nickel Inc., Lockerby Mine
  • 2nd Denis Bilodeau (Barrick, Hemlo Operations, Thunder Bay/Algoma District); 
  • 3rd Dan Rulli (CGC Inc., Hagersville Mine, Southern District)

Team Firefighting – St. Andrew Goldfields

Team First Aid – Vale East Mines

Team Special Equipment – Richmont Mines, Island Gold

This year’s competition was co-hosted by: Goldcorp Canada; Kidd Operations, a Glencore Company; Lake Shore Gold and Dumas. The event was sponsored by: Drager Safety; Kidd Operations, a Glencore Company; Technica Mining; Zetec; MSA; Acklands Grainger; Dynamic Safety International; Levitt Safety; SPI Health and Safety and Soucie Salo Safety.

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.

SLIDESHOW: 2014 Ontario Mine Rescue provincial competition

Ontario Mine Rescue competition in the news

Vale mine rescuers tops in Ontario | Wawa News 

SAFETY: Vale wins Ontario mine rescue competition | Canadian Mining Journal

Underground fire scenario tests rescue teams | Timmins Press

Vale mine rescuers tops in Ontario | Northern Life

Vale East tops at provincial mine rescue challenge | Timmins Press

Sudbury's Vale wins provincial mine rescue event | Timmins Times

Mine Rescue has a global perspective | Timmins Times

Mine Rescue competition has a secret! | Timmins Times

First woman leads team in Ontario mine rescue competition - Sudbury - CBC News

Mine rescue captain breaking barriers | Timmins Press


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