World’s best converge on Sudbury – by Carol Mulligan (Sudbury star – August 18, 2016)

The International Mine Rescue Competition opens in city

Mine rescue workers the world over make headlines when they respond to emergencies. The International Mine Rescue Competition, to be held Aug. 19-26 in Sudbury, will give 270 of them an opportunity to put a smile on their faces and celebrate the life-saving work they do.

The first two of 27 teams registered for the competition held every other year will arrive Thursday at Greater Sudbury Airport. Most flights in the next 36 hours will be carrying some of the best-trained mine rescuers in the world.

Ted Hanley, general manager of Ontario Mine Rescue, can’t wait to welcome competitors, to show off the city to them, and to sit back and watch skilled rescuers do what he did at the start of his career.

A self-described “mine rescue nerd” whose Toronto family couldn’t figure out what drew him to mining, Hanley spent eight years in mining and mine rescue in Timmins before moving to the administrative position in Sudbury two years ago.

He landed in Sudbury in time to begin work on staging the International Mine Rescue Competition in the Nickel City, the first time the competition has been held in Canada.

Mine rescue was born out of tragedy, said Hanley. The deaths of six mine rescuers in Poland to heat stress in February 1998 led to the birth of the International Mine Rescue Body.

At the time, there was no way to measure standards or evaluate team members skills in mine rescue. Simulated mine rescues were being held in the United States, and Poland attended in 1999 as did a handful of other countries. The resulting International Mine Rescue Competition has become better organized and formalized in its 10 iterations, said Hanley.

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