SUDBURY, ONT. — Mine rescue volunteers from Algoma, Kirkland Lake, Onaping, Red Lake, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins and southern Ontario competed in the 2023 mine rescue district competitions and Ontario Mine Rescue (OMR) recently announced the winners.
The district competitions took place May 10 to 12, and winners will move on to the provincial competition which will take place from June 13 to 16 in Hagersville, Ont.
Mine rescue team members are volunteer mine workers trained by mine rescue officers to respond to all types of mine emergencies including fires, explosions and falls of ground.
During the exercise, five-member teams had to extinguish a small fire and then had to find and rescue a severely injured miner who had suffered a critical injury during a mine collapse.
OMR, a part of Workplace Safety North, operates under the authority of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Headquartered in Sudbury, Ont., OMR staffs, equips and maintains a network of mine rescue stations across the province that ensure mines within a specified geographic area have adequate emergency response capability, indicates a release.
District competition winners included:
- Algoma District: Newmont Borden Mine team. Captain Patrick Gilbert, vice-captain Jay Chenier, Ryan Levac, Hank Harrison, Tristan Larcher, Nick Swanson, Perry Canning and briefing officer Kyle Besnier. Winning Technician: Kyle Oullette (Island Gold Mine)
- Kirkland Lake District: Agnico Eagle Mines Macassa Mine team. Captain Nick Perrier, vice- captain Hubert Gour, Jackson Lafrance, Jean Francois Racine, Denis Dion, Carlie Dewar, Basil Eraif and briefing officer April Belecque. Winning Technician: Jason Dicaire (Agnico Eagle Mines Macassa Mine).
- Onaping District: Glencore team. Captain Julien Lalande, Jesse Legault, Neil Poulin, Aaron Boutet, vice-captain Shawn O’Brian, Pat Robitaille, Xavier Bruneau and briefing officer Bleir Millions. Winning Technician: JY Doiron (Vale East Mines).
- Red Lake District: Newmont Musselwhite Mine team. Captain Phil Mullin, vice-captain Alexa Dumaine, Scott Lawson, Leaf Watson, Nick Gosselin, Jimmy Sinclair, Matt Arges and briefing officer Ryan Lepage. Winning Technician: Darren Bullied (Evolution Mining, Red Lake Operations).
- Southern District: Compass Minerals Goderich Mine team. Captain David Kelly, vice-captain Joel Paquette, Cody Lobb, Gordon Bailey, Kyle Ropp, Ken Nguyen, Amanda Haak, Shea Bradley and briefing officer Jason Phillip. Winning Technician: Mike Fredriksson, an independent mine rescue technician, won the top technician award for the southern district.
- Sudbury District: Vale East Mines team. Captain Kordell Hull, Will Davies, Ryan Tinker, Jason Cook, vice-captain Jeremy Faulkner, Will Langois, Loni-May Barlow and briefing officer Shawn St. Louis.
- Thunder Bay District: Impala Canada Lac Des Isles Mine team. Captain Brad Kemp, vice-captain Cody Vold, Dillon Bradley, Chris Cameron, Ethan Gorman, Devin Jackson, Dave Chony and briefing officer Tyler Williams. Winning Technician: Monika Jorgenson (Impala Canada Lac Des Isles Mine)
- Timmins District: Lakeshore Gold Timmins West-Bell Creek Mines team. Captain Adam Weagle, vice-captain Natalie Lafontaine, Shane Sullivan, Brandon Duhan, Blade Cashmore, Serge Roy and briefing officer Terry Roy. Winning Technician: Mike Bennett (Kidd Mine).
“The competitions are an important way to keep skills and practices up to date,” said Ted Hanley, vice-president of mine rescue and emergency services at Workplace Safety North, in a statement. “The scenarios are designed to evaluate knowledge and are a great chance for the teams to collaborate and learn from each other.”