Glencore Xstrata Nickel’s Sudbury Operations was the overall runner-up at the 63nd annual Ontario Mine Rescue Competition in Windsor June 6-7.
The Vale West Mines team also won the team special equipment award at the competition. The overall winners at the competition, Glencore Xstrata Copper, Kidd Operations, were presented with gold hard hats.
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.
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, the five-member teams had to extinguish 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).
Members of the local Xstrata team included briefing officer Keith Allen, Capt. Gord Horseman, vice-captain Yvan Tymchuk, Richard Roy, Yan Sirard, technician Dave Griffiths, Paul Leclair, Matt Lawrence and Andre Lefebvre.
The local Vale team included briefing officer Cory Thomas, Capt. Lorne Beleskey, vice-captain Jason Amyott, Gorden Sullivan, technician Derrick Parsons, Ron O’Bumsawin, Mark Jutras, Darren Toner and Shawn St. Louis.