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Mines Rescue @ The Coalface

Four Mines Rescue teams faced a series of simulated events in both underground and surface environments at the Hunter Valley Mines Rescue competition on Friday June 21. Teams applied their specialist training towards search and rescue, first aid and firefighting scenarios as well as completing a theory component.

The Integra team were named winners of the event, with the Barbarians coming runners up. Integra team captain, Kurt Bereza, also took home the coveted Wayne Wallace Shield for Best Captain.

On receiving the competition’s winning shield, Kurt thanked Hunter Valley Mines Rescue for coordinating a great event and acknowledged the efforts of all competitors and in particular those of his team.

“Our team performed well. We worked through each exercise with cool heads and really came together,” Kurt said.

“It’s competitions like these that equip us with the skills and processes essential for real-life emergencies where we may be needed. This year’s competition was unlike any other; the scenarios we faced were very realistic, as close to an actual mining emergency as can be simulated. The underground exercises especially challenged us with scenarios that can’t be replicated in training; testing our ability to respond to real-world situations.

Mines Rescue @ The Coalface

“I’m looking forward to the Integra team representing the Hunter at the Australian competition. I would also like to extend my thanks firstly to Glencore, and Wilson Mining for their support in enabling me to attend and leading the Integra team to a win.”

The primary purpose of Mines Rescue is to provide emergency response to the NSW coal mining industry in the case of an emergency. Thankfully, major incidents requiring brigade response are limited. Events like these allow brigade members to practice and hone their skills in preparation for the unfortunate circumstances where they may be called upon.

Matt Enright, Regional Manager Hunter Valley Mines Rescue, said that these competitions are important days in the Mines Rescue calendar.

“Every year, our Mines Rescue competitions put our rescue teams to the test to mirror real-world emergencies.

“I am immensely proud of all the participants for their dedication and performance under particularly intense scenarios. These competitions are not just about who wins on the day; they’re of benefit for our entire mining community.”

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