Ten teams from across the NSW coal industry contested the 2018 Coal Services First Aid Competition on Friday, 25 May 2018. The annual event was held at the Newcastle Mines Rescue station and heralds the beginning of competition season for the coal mining industry.
Mines rescue competitions are held in each of the mining districts of NSW to test and hone the skills of mines rescue brigadesmen and surface emergency responders to ensure they are response-ready in the event of an incident on a mine site.
Mark O’Neill, General Manager CS Health said that the first aid competition is different in that is focuses specifically on first aid and isn’t limited to mines rescue responders.
‘Many teams include first aid officers, not just those with specific mines rescue training,’ he said. ‘The scenarios in this competition are designed to reflect everyday situations such as gardening, camping and DIY home renovations where first aid skills may be required.’
Amputations, allergic reactions, head injuries, and treatment for burns, diabetic shock and asthma were just some of the injuries set to challenge teams and judge the level of proficiency with which they administer first aid. Teams are also assessed on how well they manage environmental and equipment hazards as well as multiple injuries and distressed casualties. Centennial Coal’s Mandalong team were named overall winners for the second consecutive year. Captain Clint Bryant thanked his team for their unwavering efforts in the lead up to the event and on the day.
‘These competitions are a great way to put our training and skills to work and highlight where we need to improve. It was hard this year competing without our previous captain, Iain Pattie, but the team pulled together and we gave our best,’ he said.
‘On behalf of the team I would like to thank Coal Services for putting on another great event and also to Centennial Coal for giving us the opportunity to train and compete. Alex Lidwinski, a competition veteran, also deserves a special mention for his help and coaching.’
Among the teams competing on the day were Thiess’s Mt Owen mine who placed second and Peabody’s Wambo underground team who placed third overall. Wambo are preparing to represent Australia at the International Mines Rescue competition in Russia later this year. The international competition is held every two years and Wambo are seasoned competitors at this level, taking out the first aid category in Canada in 2016.