Mine Rescue Competitions provide an opportunity for teams from the mining industry to test their skills against industry standards, identify areas of improvement and train their members in a safe and controlled environment. The competition assists learning through exposure to realistic scenarios performed under the pressure of competition. Here are 5 reasons why these competitions can benefit any Mine Rescue Team:
1.Exposure to Real World Scenarios
Teams partake in mock real world scenarios which challenge the skill sets they're expected to maintain. Often the event will run over a number of hours testing both mental and physical stamina. These scenarios can test any of the number of skills a mine rescue team could be excepted to perform at a moments notice either under ground or in a surface response. This can vary from procedures used in the underground rescue of miners trapped by various hazards, including fire, explosions, cave-ins, toxic gas, smoke inhalation, and water entering the mine. To chemical spills on the surface leading to large evacuations or accidents involving heavy machinery on a mine site.
2. Improving of Community Involvement
Mine Rescue competitions will often be held in locations that allow the local community to come and see these teams in action. The function of mine rescue is ensuring safe workplaces and communities in the event of emergencies. Often, the mine rescue teams can be the first responders for local communities in the event of an emergency. So its not uncommon for these teams to have involvement in community through the coordination of their training with local emergency service personnel. By becoming involved in these competitions the participating teams can demonstrate their training, expertise and professionalism and at the same time bring recognition to their wider community of the value and importance of Emergency Response and Rescue training.
3.Sharing Knowledge with Industry Peers
Although mining is a competitive industry this competitiveness does not filter down into how mine rescue teams conduct their day-to-day operations. Teams affiliated with mining industry competitors will often have mutual aid agreements in place to assist each other should the need arise. These teams will coordinate activities in their regions to encourage mutual aid, share best practices and generally improve performance. Mining competitions act as the ideal platform to nurture this important aspect of the mining response community.
4.Validation of Training Regimes
Due to the remote location of many mine sites, the site based Emergency Response personnel may be the only resource available to provide immediate assistance in the case of an incident. Given their understanding of their workplace and its site-specific hazards this directly affects their ability to save lives. These teams train relentlessly week in and week out. Competition gives them the benefit validating the effectiveness of their teams training regimes and ensuring their readiness in the event they are called upon to aid in the rescue of industry colleagues.
5. Development of Mine Rescue Rookies
Basic mine rescue training courses are conducted at mining properties so that miners have an opportunity to learn the skills to become members of rescue teams . Once the basic skills are obtained, many hours of training and practice are needed to develop a competent mine rescue responder that can work with their team and with other teams to accomplish rescue objectives in the event of a mine disaster. Teams fielded in competition can be a mixture of “veterans” and “rookies” this allows for the learning development for rookies under to pressure and constraints of the competition floor. Allowing them to bring invaluable experience back to the mine operations.
Here in [D4H] we're always interested in anything that aids responders in improving their capabilities. Being able to track qualifications and experience is one of the reasons we created [D4H] Personnel and Training.