Six teams from mine sites across the Illawarra region came together to compete at the annual Southern Mines Rescue competition on Friday, 11 August.
South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal’s Dendrobium Blue team were named overall winners having taken out top honours for the fire-fighting, first aid and underground components of the competition. The team from Peabody’s Metropolitan mine were named runners up.
The teams worked through a series of scenarios designed to test their emergency preparedness capabilities, teamwork and communication skills while they work under pressure. The tasks simulate incidents and situations that rescue brigades could face should they be called to action for example, underground search and rescue, monitoring mine conditions, fire-fighting and first aid. There is also a theory exam.
Dendrobium team captain, Robert Monkley, accepted the shield on behalf of the team.
‘This is the first time that a team from Dendrobium has won a mines rescue competition since the mine started in 2002. I’ve been a part of this team since 2015 and have had the privilege to lead the team for the last two years. I’m so proud of the team; their performance today has been tremendous and the level of competition here is unbelievable. We recently won the first aid competition in Newcastle which I think helped to prepare us for today.’
‘The team and I would like to thank Jason Hegarty and everyone at Southern Mines Rescue for their training and support. Today was a challenging competition, you really tested us in some of those scenarios but that’s what today is about. We would also like to thank Simon Thomas, General Manager at Dendrobium, for his support and allowing us the time to train and compete,’ he said.
Lachlan Grant, State Operations Manager NSW Mines Rescue, thanked South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal for hosting the event at their Appin North mine.
‘Allowing us to create scenarios at an actual mine enables us to take the competition to another level and really test the skills of our brigade,’ he said.
“The primary purpose of Mines Rescue is to provide emergency response to the NSW coal mining industry in the case of an emergency. Fortunately, major incidents requiring brigade response are limited but events like these allow brigade members to practice and hone a range of skills that can be used at work as well as in the community.”
Dendrobium Blue will represent the Southern region at the Australian competition to be held in Queensland later this year.
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