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Newcastle Mines Rescue

Teams attended multiple casualties suffering from allergic reactions, snake bites, electrocution, carbon monoxide poisoning and cardiac arrest at the Newcastle Mines Rescue Station on Friday, 22 March.

Twelve teams vied for top honours at the annual Coal Services Northern Region First Aid Competition, with the South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal’s Dendrobium mine named the overall winners for the second consecutive year.

Monique Roberts, Head of Health Operations, said that the competition serves as a platform for teams to put into practice the first aid skills acquired through training at Mines Rescue.

“The scenarios mirror real-life situations encountered at home, in the community, or in the workplace. Teams are equipped with just a basic first aid kit, and are evaluated on their teamwork, response to each scenario, and first aid proficiency. While the emphasis is on practical skills, teams are also assessed on their theoretical knowledge of first aid and CPR.”

A proficient first aider must swiftly identify and address injuries while remaining mindful of additional potential hazards. They must also demonstrate leadership and organisation at the scene, such as directing bystanders to assist and documenting essential information for paramedics upon their arrival.

Newcastle Mines Rescue Regional Manager, Darren Parker, added that the event is about learning in a safe, controlled environment.

“Learning basic first aid is a vital skill that can be used in across many situations, but practice is key. A good first aider possesses a combination of knowledge, skills, empathy, and quick thinking to provide effective and timely assistance in emergency situations,” he said.

South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal’s Dendrobium Mine team captain Rob Monkley thanked Coal Services’ organisers and volunteers for the time and effort in coordinating the event.

“We enjoy these competitions because we learn something new each time. The realism of the injuries and the unpredictable scenarios are a credit to the Coal Services team who organise and volunteer for the event. It mirrors what could happen in real life, so it helps prepare us for anything.

“Thank you also to our General Manager, Simon Thomas, and South32 Illawarra Metallurgical Coal for their ongoing support with training and the opportunity to compete.”

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