Two members of the NSW Mines Rescue team were invited as expert international guests to the inaugural New Zealand Mines Rescue competition held at Newmont Waihi Gold last week.
David Connell, Regional Manager Hunter Valley Mines Rescue and Chris Clifford, Training Officer Newcastle Mines Rescue were sponsored by WorkSafe NZ and assisted with organising logistics, setup and scenario assessment.
Tony Forster, WorkSafe NZ Chief Inspector said, “in addition to NZ capability, the event was supervised by an impressive international cast including mines rescue officers…who provided expertise in setting up and judging the event.”
“This event was an outstanding success in not only demonstrating excellent operational skills capability, mental concentration and physical stamina, but also establishing the huge potential for NZ coal and metal mines rescue teams
combining resources to provide a national strategic support capability.”
The day also benefited NSW Mines Rescue with different testing scenarios being observed and the learnings bought back and shared with their Australian team.
Mr Connell added, ” …the level of commitment the four teams demonstrated was impressive. Each team clearly had been training for the competition and this showed with a high level of skills displayed on the day.”
“The competition day was also very successful, in a large part due to the collaboration between WorkSafe NZ and local mining operators. This allowed a unique learning experience for coal and metalliferous mines rescue teams to sharpen their emergency response skills.”
Paul Healey, General Manager Mines Rescue and Regulation & Compliance reinforced this comment; “The ability for mine operators to work closely with external services is paramount. It is great to see collaboration on safety initiatives such as creating important training opportunities like this for mine operators, government agencies and emergency services.”