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Sudbury teams grab several medals at Ontario Mine Rescue event

Annual competition brings the best eight mine rescue teams together to compete for bragging rights  

The Lake Shore Gold Timmins West-Bell Creek Mines took top honours this past week in the All-Ontario Mine Rescue competition, but awards for other special skills were snapped up by several Sudbury mining operations as well.

The winners were announced during a ceremony in Hamilton on Friday after the multi-day competition took place at the Canadian Gypsum Company Mine in Hagersville from June 13-16.

Ontario Mine Rescue Vice President Ted Hanley said he was pleased with the event. 

“We’re very proud to announce that Lake Shore Gold Timmins West-Bell Creek Mines came out on top,” said Hanley.

He explained that the Ontario competition brought together the winners of district competitions held across the province in Ontario's eight separate mining areas. 

“At this competition, teams from eight different mining districts in Ontario came together to compete. These teams had been training for two months leading up to the event. The competition was a way to see how well they could handle a simulated mine emergency.”

The competing teams were Agnico Eagle Macassa Mine (Kirkland Lake District), Glencore Sudbury INO Fraser- Nickel Rim South Mines (Onaping District),  Impala Canada Lac des Iles Mine (Thunder Bay District), Compass Minerals Goderich Mine (Southern District),  Lake Shore Gold Timmins West-Bell Creek Mines (Timmins District),  Newmont Borden Mine (Algoma District), Newmont Musselwhite Mine (Red Lake District) and Vale Sudbury East Mines (Sudbury District).

The annual competition judges the teams on their knowledge and abilities related to hands-on mine rescue work. Team members are required to take written exams along with demonstrating their skills on such things as first aid, firefighting, rope rescue, using and applying special breathing apparatus and emergency management decisions.

Every team was required to carry-out a rescue solution on an identical mock emergency that involved demanding physical work and stressful decisions while working in a hostile and dangerous environment.

While most of the district-level competitions are held in a blacked-out hockey arena, the provincial contest took place in a real underground mine. 

The mine rescuers were faced with situations that included rescuing a civilian who had fallen into a mine shaft, using drones to assess unstable and collapsed mine areas, put out an underground vehicle fire, and rescue a trapped mine worker from a collapse, said the news release. 

The winning Lakeshore team included Captain Adam Weagle, No. 2; Shane Sullivan, No. 3; Brandon Duhan, No. 4; Blade Cashmore, No. 5; Vice Captain Natalie Lafontaine, and; Serge Roy, No. 6.

The briefing officer was Terry Roy and veteran mine rescuer Jim Davis was the coach.

Timmins district mine rescue officers were Jason Leger, Mat Johnson and Danny Taillefer.

The second-place team overall was Newmont Mining, Musselwhite Mine. 

Ontario Mine Rescue also provided several awards for individual achievements. 

This included the following:

  • Individual Technician Competition results:
  • 1st – Jean-Yves Doiron, Vale Sudbury East Mines, Sudbury District,
  • 2nd – Michael Bennett, Glencore Kidd Mine, Timmins District,
  • 3rd – Kyle Oullette, Alamos Gold, Island Gold Mine, Algoma District.
  • The Team Firefighting Award - Vale Sudbury East Mines.
  • The Team First Aid Award - Glencore Sudbury INO Fraser and Nickel Rim South Mines.
  • The Team Special Equipment Award (Rope Rescue) - Vale Sudbury East Mines.
  • Team Theory Exam Award - Glencore Sudbury INO Fraser and Nickel Rim South Mines.
  • Briefing Officer Award - Ryan Lepage, Newmont, Musselwhite Mine

The following individual technician competitors had perfect scores on written exams:

  • Alexa Dumaine (Newmont Musselwhite Mine).
  • Brad Kemp (Impala Canada Lac des Isles Mine).
  • Adam Weagle and Natalie Lafontaine (Lake Shore Timmins West-Bell Creek Mines).
  • Hubert Gour (Agnico Eagle Macassa Mine).
  • Julien Lalande and Jesse Legault (Glencore Sudbury INO Fraser-Nickel Rim South Mines).

Ontario Mine Rescue was created in 1929, in the aftermath of a devastating underground fire at the Hollinger Mine in Timmins that claimed the lives of 39 miners in 1928. Since then OMR has evolved into a full emergency response service for all mine emergencies including fires, explosions, falls of ground and the entrapment of miners.

Ontario Mine Rescue is a branch of Workplace Safety North.


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