Mines Rescue Skills Put to the Test

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The Queensland Mine Rescue State Cup proved to be an intense and demanding event, challenging rescue teams to respond to complex scenarios in underground mining environments.

Hosted by Fitzroy Mining Operations at Carborough Downs, the competition brought together experienced rescuers from different mines, showcasing their dedication to safety and preparedness.

Throughout the day, the eight teams displayed skill, courage, and teamwork. The scenarios were designed to be realistic and confronting, pushing the limits of what the rescuers were used to.

Luke Ludlow from the Queensland Mine Rescue Service described one of the scenarios in which an underground vehicle collided with a wall, resulting in the roof collapsing onto the vehicle and trapping five casualties. Rescuers had to crawl on their stomachs to reach the casualties.

“The rescue exercises are important because they validate our training. If our guys are able to accurately respond to these things, then we know that our training and our deployment processes are good,” said Luke.

The challenging scenarios were designed by Matt Thornton and Carl Skinner from Fitzroy Mining Operations. Jason Gater, Fitzroy Mining Operations COO, said that hosting the event was a natural choice for the company.

“We saw it as an opportunity to contribute to the industry and showcase our growing expertise in mine rescue,” Jason said.

All teams were truly outstanding in their performance, however there can only be one winner. Securing first place was Anglo American’s Grosvenor Mine, with their captain Boyd Buschmann expressing pride in the team’s achievements.

“Winning the QMRS State Cup is a great honour. I am particularly proud of our teams’ efforts to win this year as it was the toughest and most arduous event of this kind I have ever participated in.

“Many of the scenarios we train for have occurred as workplace accidents or incidents in the mining industry, or vehicle collisions on the road. This prepares us for worst case scenarios which could take place at work, driving on the road, at home or in the community,” said Boyd.

Individual members were also recognised for their contribution, with the Captain’s trophy awarded to Scott Ryan from Moranbah North and the Chief Inspector Trophy for Theory going to Jason Seaborn, also from Moranbah North. 

The top four teams – Grosvenor, Moranbah North, Broadmeadows and Oaky North will now move on to compete in the Australian competition in October against the top four teams from NSW. This next level of competition promises to be even more intense, pushing the boundaries of mine rescue skills and reinforcing the vital importance of preparedness in the mining industry.

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