Quinsam Coal’s mine rescue team is put through its paces at the 58th Annual Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition in Revelstoke June 8.

Miners put safety practices to the test

Spectators from around the province gathered in Revelstoke on June 8 to watch nine mine rescue and eight first aid teams

It’s a dynamic competition with a vitally important purpose and at this year’s event three teams emerged victorious at the 58th annual Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition in Revelstoke.

Spectators from around the province gathered in Revelstoke on June 8 to watch nine mine rescue and eight first aid teams put their skills to the test – including Campbell River’s two mining operations, Nyrstar Myre Falls and Quinsam Coal. The competition is divided into three categories: Surface,  Underground and Three Person First Aid, and features life-like simulations that test skills in firefighting, first aid, rope rescue,  extrication, and general mine rescue knowledge.

This year the province added a new exhibition event to the competition.

The Mutual Aid Scramble mixed the teams in a trial designed to test teamwork and co-operation. The ability to adapt to working together is important if mining emergency responders are called to provide a multiple-resource rescue effort. The winning team “Blue” consisted of representatives from Peace River Coal, Quinsam Coal, Nyrstar Myra Falls, Coal Mountain, Wolverine and Gibraltar.

Major Category Competition Winners:

  • Three Person First Aid – Huckleberry Mine Ltd
  • Surface Mine Rescue – Coal Mountain Operation, Teck Coal
  • Underground Mine Rescue – New Afton, New Gold Inc.

Campbell River’s Quinsam Coal also won:

  • First Aid team won firstt place for the south zone and came in second in the finals.

Quinsam also won:

  • Best Bench Technician.
  • Best Coordinator.
  • Best in the Obstacle Recovery.
  • And the Large Underground Mines Award.

This annual competition highlights the industry’s commitment to health and safety best practices. It also ensures B.C. mines have consistent standards of training and procedures so that they may provide assistance to one another in the event of an emergency.

Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review, said “I’d like to congratulate all of the participants in this year’s mine rescue competition – not just for their efforts on Saturday but for their hard work all year round to keep our mining operations safe and healthy here in B.C.”

Quick Facts:

  • Mine rescue has existed in B.C. to assist in mine emergencies since 1909. The Province held the first mine rescue competition in 1915.
  • Under the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in B.C., all mines are required to provide emergency response capability. This requirement has made the B.C. mining industry a worldwide model for the implementation of health and safety practices.
  • According to WorkSafeBC, in 2011 B.C. mines had an estimated injury rate of approximately 1.6 injury claims per 100 person years worked.