Manitoba Mine Rescue

Manitoba Mine Rescue

2019 Manitoba Provincial Mine Rescue Competition

May 24 to 25, 2019

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All 2019 Competition Photos: Brandy Bloxom Photography

Manitoba Provincial Mine Rescue Competition

The Manitoba Provincial Mine Rescue Competition has been held annually since 1961.It is a two-day event which tests the teams' mining emergency response knowledge, firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment and decision-making ability under stress during a simulated mine rescue mission.

These competitions test the completeness of our emergency response plans and competencies of our response personnel, which is essential for ongoing provision of consistent, high level rescue services across the province. The competition takes place at a different operating mine each year, on a rotational basis.

For more information, see below.

2019 participating teams & roster

Full list of team rosters

Hudbay Flin Flon

Hudbay Snow Lake

Tanco

Vale

Description of Mine Rescue events

Event Descriptions

Our 2019 Manitoba Provincial Mine Rescue Heroes

Provincial, Firefighter and First Aid Winner

Hudbay Flin Flon

View list of current and previous winners

Runner Up

Hudbay Snow Lake

Technician Competition Winner

Rob Chuipka, Vale

View list of current and previous winners

Written Exam Winner

Tanco

Provincial Mine Rescue Competitions

Mining provides some of the safest jobs in the province of Manitoba. The Manitoba Provincial Mine Rescue Competition is a vital part of keeping our personnel safe. The annual competition tests the completeness of our emergency response plans and demonstrates the expertise and abilities of our emergency response personnel. Over time, the competition has integrated the newest technology and methods available that help our mine rescue personnel provide the same high level rescue services across the province. Below are some key milestones in our provincial competition history:

  • 1961: the Manitoba mining industry holds the first annual provincial mine rescue competition. Judges travel from site to site to evaluate the individual teams
  • 1970: Teams start travelling to one location where the competition is held
  • 1974: Some teams begin holding their own local competitions where they determine the winning team which represents their company at the provincial mine rescue competition
  • 1992: We introduce the first technician competition during the provincial mine rescue competition. This tests the knowledge of the personnel who maintain the breathing apparatus

Today, there are 6 events involved in the competition. The scenarios change each year, but the events themselves stay the same. The competition is hosted on a rotational basis with the operating mines in Manitoba and has been held in Thompson, Snow Lake, Flin Flon, Winnipeg, Lac du Bonnet and Pinawa. The provincial competitions draw approximately 100 people, including spectators, team members and representatives, dignitaries and volunteers.

Mine rescue teams from operating mines compete across Manitoba. Mine rescue personnel train and prepare for this role outside of their regular jobs. They are committed to their team and their colleagues' safety. There is a strong sense of camaraderie at the provincial competition, where they learn from one another and support each other.

Mine rescue personnel from different sites are tested and held to uniform standards. This ensures consistency in mine rescue services across the province. Most competing teams hold their own local competitions to determine the winning team who will represent their company in the Provincial Mine Rescue Competition. These competitions are run by each individual company in the weeks leading up to the provincial competition, and structured similarly.

The winner of the Manitoba Provincial Mine Rescue Competition is eligible to compete in the National Western Region Mine Rescue Competition, held bi-annually in Fernie, BC.

Photo Credit: Brandy Bloxom Photography

To our Mine Rescue Heroes

The task at hand is never too large or daunting when team members arrive at the station. The conversation is detailed, precise, calculated and as complete as possible when the Director of Operations briefs the team(s).

The work is always methodical and deliberate when the Captain and team stand in front of the bench. With adrenaline pumping and training at top of mind and in action, the checks are made, the equipment made ready and the BG 4 is donned.

Then it's off to the headframe and underground, into smoke and gases, into the unknown. To locations that a few short minutes ago were active, safe workplaces that for one reason or another have been transformed into potential danger zones.

Forward the team advances with laser-like precision as they demonstrate excellence in rescue and emergency response techniques. Inch by inch they cover areas and deem it inspected before moving on. Flagging marks their trail as they progress. Hard work, great skill, unmatched determination and genuine care for their fellow miners drives them forward until the fire is out, the gases are cleared, the workers are on their way to surface , the work is done and the mission is complete!

A quick summary of what takes mine rescue team members years to learn and perfect!

The Manitoba mining industry owes you a great debt of gratitude that mere words will never come close to fulfilling.

Each day, each shift and each moment there are men and women underground; they are safer because Mine Rescue exists!

We can deploy hundreds of people each day through miles of underground tunnels and drifts because we know we have the best of the best ready to respond if something goes wrong.

You are the Mine Rescue Organization of Manitoba and we are very proud of you all!

Thank you!

- Written by Kirk Regular, Vice-President of MAMI and Co-Chair, Safety & Mine Rescue Committees, May 2019