AMSJ » North Wambo wins Hunter Valley underground mines rescue competition

North Wambo wins Hunter Valley underground mines rescue competition

Wambo Team Members (pictured above)
Back (L-R): Mitchell Lydon, Warren Kirk, Jarrod Brown
Front (L-R): Michael Murphy, Kurt Bereza

The team from Peabody’s North Wambo mine has taken out top honours at the 31st annual Hunter Valley underground Mines Rescue competition  held at the Hunter Valley Mines Rescue station last Friday.

Six teams, including two composite teams, battled it out for the coveted title this year. Each was put through five different active rescue scenarios which focused on possible emergency situations. These included exercises in firefighting, search and rescue, extrications (involving trapped miners) and applying first aid. Theory and individual practical skills were also assessed.

“Brigadesmen competitions are an invaluable way to develop safety skills. The types of scenarios have not changed too much over the last 30 years, but neither have the basic mechanics of mining. What has changed is the attitude and focus on working more safely.” said Hunter Valley Regional Manager Mines Rescue, David Connell.

General Manager Mines Rescue and Regulation & Compliance, Paul Healey agrees saying ‘30 years ago workers accepted that mining was a dangerous industry. Today safety is prioritised above all else. Our primary focus today is to build proactive safety leaders for industry, to prevent incidents and provide protection for industry.’

The North Wambo team were announced at Friday’s presentation dinner as the overall winners on the day, taking the winning streak of this team to six straight. Assessors agreed that teamwork, leadership and commitment made for the winning formula.

Captain on the day Michael Murphy says ‘I would like to thank Peabody for their continued support and each of our team members for their commitment. I would also like to thank Mines Rescue for putting on a great technical and skills based competition. With Matt Bailey, our Captain, unable to attend on the day the team were required to work even more collaboratively to get across the line this year. We are all looking forward to the Australian competition to bring home the trophy for NSW.’

Managing Director/CEO Coal Services, Lucy Flemming said, “…the role of Coal Services is to continually work with industry to improve health and safety. We have seen a significant reduction in injuries and mine emergencies over the last 30 years and continue towards the collective goal of zero harm.”


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AMSJ April 2022