Anglo American’s Grosvenor mines rescue team has broken a New South Wales winning streak at the Australian Underground Coal Mines Rescue competition.
The Grosvenor crew were named national champions for 2019, followed by teams from Kestrel and Moranbah North.
Those three Queensland teams and Glencore’s Oaky North took on Peabody Wambo, South32 Appin Pink, Centennial Clarence and a Newcastle team in the competition in the Moolarben area late last week.
The Grosvenor victory breaks a winning streak held by NSW teams in the national competition since 2015 and marks the first win by a mixed gender team.
Grosvenor team captain Boyd Buschmann said the competitions were an important way for the team to hone their skills.
“The simulations we were tested on during the competition had a high intensity level and pushed us out of our comfort zones, but the team really focused and pulled together to deliver an outstanding performance on the day,” Mr Buschmann said.
“These competitions help ensure we have absolute confidence in our skills if we’re ever called on to undertake a rescue.
“I’m very proud of the team’s hard work, dedication and professionalism. We’re also the first mixed gender team to ever win the competition, which is a fantastic achievement.”
The performance at the 57th annual Australian Underground Coal Mines Rescue competition came after the Grosvenor team won Queensland’s EK Healy Competition in August and Moranbah North placed second.
Team headed for USA showdown
Mr Buschmann said the Grosvenor team was now looking forward to competing in the International Mines Rescue Competition next year in the USA.
“It’ll be an incredible honour to represent both Anglo American and our country on the international stage when we take on the best teams from around the world,” he said.
The Australian Underground Coal Mines Rescue Competition is run by a committee of representatives from NSW Mines Rescue and Queensland Mines Rescue. It is hosted on a rotational basis each year and held in different mining regions.
Competing teams face 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.
Chief executive officer of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business Tyler Mitchelson congratulated the Anglo teams on their performance.
“We’re extremely proud of all our mines rescue teams, who have consistently proven themselves to be best in class,” Mr Mitchelson said.
“Congratulations to our Grosvenor team who have now won both the Queensland and Australian titles this year, and to our Moranbah North team for placing third in the Australian competition. Our Dawson team also won the Southern Open Cut mines rescue competition in August, demonstrating excellence across our underground and open cut teams.
“Our mines rescue team members are volunteers who take on additional responsibility above their daily roles and we are very grateful to them for their dedication.”