Peabody Energy’s Wambo mine has won the 55th Australian Underground Mines Rescue competition in Narrabri, closely followed by Queensland’s Moranbah North and Broadmeadow teams in second and third place.
The Australian Mines Rescue Competition is run by a committee of joint representatives from NSW Mines Rescue and Queensland Mines Rescue.
Moranbah North captain Scott Ryan said the team would not have been able to do as well as it did without the support of the mine, which gave them a week off to train before the competition.
“The teams we were competing against were the best of the best, but I don’t think any of us were better than anyone else,” he said.
“It all comes down to who makes less mistakes on the day, but every competitor has proven themselves worthy just by getting to this point.
“Being able to compete in the Australian Mines Rescue competition gives you a deeper insight into how other states run their competitions, and this will give us an edge in our local competition next year.”
Broadmeadow captain Dwayne Crothers is no stranger to the Australian competition, having competed at the top level four times in the past.
“I’m so proud of the boys for placing, they’re all so young but their commitment to being brigadesmen is on another level,” he said.
“BHP allowed us five days off to train before the competition and we used those days to knuckle down and focus on the basics. No matter whether it’s a local or Australian competition the scenarios all come down to how well you can master the basics.@
The competition involved four New South Wales (NSW) teams who won their respective regional competitions and four Queensland mining teams who topped the EK Healy Cup competition.
They were Tahmoor (Wollongong), Newcastle, Springvale (Lithgow), Hunter Valley (Wambo), Kestrel, Moranbah North, Broadmeadow and Grosvenor mines.
Surface and underground exercises included fire fighting, first aid and a series of search and rescue, emergency response and risk management challenges.
NSW Mines Rescue general manager Matthew Fellowes applauded the expertise and camaraderie displayed by competitors, organisers and assessors, saying “It was a highly contested competition and all eight teams performed exceptionally well. These volunteer brigadesmen provide invaluable safety leadership every day in their workplaces, and are the ones who are ready, willing and able to respond should the unfortunate need arise, something that should provide some peace of mind to all of our fellow coal miners.”