Brigades Battle It Out

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Mines rescue brigades from across NSW and Qld descended upon the Illawarra mining district to compete in the 58th annual Australian Underground Coal Mines Rescue competition on Thursday, 20 October 2022.

The Anglo American team from Grosvenor Mine were named the 2022 Australian Underground Mines Rescue champions, the Peabody team from Metropolitan were runners-up, followed by Anglo American’s Moranbah North Mine team who took out third place.

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The annual event sees the top mines rescue brigades vie for the national title. Four NSW teams, who won their respective regional competitions, and four Qld mining teams (also decided by a series of competitions), competed for the 2022 title; the first time the competition has been held since 2019 due to COVID restrictions.

The Australian Underground Mines Rescue Competition is run by a committee of joint representatives from NSW Mines Rescue and the Queensland Mines Rescue Service. It is hosted on a rotational basis each year and held in different mining regions.

The primary purpose of Mines Rescue is to provide emergency response to the industry in the case of an emergency. Events like these allow the brigades to test and hone their skills in preparation for the unfortunate circumstance where they may be called upon.

The day’s format includes several underground and surface simulation exercises to demonstrate knowledge and the use of equipment in realistic scenarios, including exercises to test hazard awareness, underground search and rescue, first aid and fire-fighting.

NSW Mines Rescue General Manager, Wayne Green congratulated all the teams for their efforts during the day.

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“Everyone here today has put in 110 per cent which is testament to the calibre of our volunteer brigades. Competitions such as these form an essential part of brigades training. They sit at the core of what Mines Rescue is about and are paramount to ensuring that we can apply, practice and hone our brigade’s skills and put all their training to the test under pressure. This event is the result of countless hours of planning to deliver realistic, challenging scenarios but also to ensure a memorable experience for all involved.”

Peter Vale, Executive General Manager Coal Operations at SIMEC Mining in Tahmoor, said the mine was proud to host the first competition after a two-year hiatus.

“On behalf of SIMEC Mining, I’d like to congratulate Boyd Buschmann and the team from Grosvenor on their victory and thank the Coal Services Team and our own staff for their hard work in putting on a great event.

“We have long supported Mines Rescue, which not only provides some friendly competition between mines, but importantly helps the teams hone the safety skills and techniques they would need to call upon during an emergency response situation.”

The winning team will be invited to represent Australia at the International Mines Rescue Competition which will be held in Colombia in 2024.

Representing NSW: • Peabody Wambo (Hunter Valley) • Peabody Metropolitan (Southern) • Centennial Airly (Western) • Newcastle team comprised of brigades personnel from different mine sites.
Representing Qld: • Anglo American Grosvenor • Anglo American Moranbah North • Kestrel • Glencore Oaky North.

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