Glencore’s Oaky North mine was the scene of a “battle” last month to find the best mines rescuers in the state at the 18th Queensland Mines Rescue Service (QMRS) Memorial Cup.

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 members to test and hone their skills in preparation for the unfortunate circumstance where they may be called upon.

Teams competed from BMA’s Broadmeadow Mine, Fitzroy’s Carborough Downs Mine, Anglo American’s Aquila Mine, Thungela’s Ensham Mine, and a combined “Barbarian” team of members.

QATCF 6.1 Broadmeadow

Broadmeadow Mine

The Carborough Downs team took home the coveted trophy while also being awarded both the Firefighting Excellence and First Aid Excellence. Broadmeadow claimed second place and Ensham was third. Cody Barnes was awarded the best actors award for a patient that gave their all.

QATCF 6.1 Ensham

Ensham Mine

The QMRS Memorial Cup is an underground coal competition, combining three competitions that had previously been run in the southern, central and northern mines rescue stations.

Underground coal mines rescue competitions are primarily designed to test teams in a variety of rescue operations and to ensure that the training supplied to team members is to the highest standard. Teams compete as a 6 or 7 person team, the same as they would when responding in an emergency situation at their workplaces.

Whether it’s search and rescue underground following a roof fall in a mine, firefighting or attending to first aid casualties, QMRS members are trained to prepare for anything.

The exercises for the 18th Memorial cup were designed by a team of district assessors and mine site personnel. Exercises consisted of surface exercises, firefighting, theory and individual practical, a multi-casualty exercise, a compressed air breathing apparatus exercise, and an underground exercise which was the largest exercise of the competition and conducted underground in a mining panel.

This year the teams also had to conduct a series of tasks using the QMRS procedures and site specific processes, which included plan reading, gas detection and interpretation, communication, ventilation monitoring and first aid.

Mark Freeman, QMRS Operations Manager – Underground, congratulated all the competitors and thanked Glencore’s Oaky North mine for hosting the event.

“Thanks goes out to Damien Wynn and the Glencore Oaky North Management for allowing us to run a great competition at the mine and their supply of staff to assist on the lead up and on the day of the competition. Special thanks to Mannie Coates, Tony Armstrong and Sandie McGill from Oaky North for everything that was needed to make a testing day a success,” said Mark.

“At the end of the day, the skills these teams develop and the training they do is to ensure that injuries are prevented and lives are saved in the case of a real emergency underground and there’s nothing more important than that.”