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Oaky Creek North mine wins Australian Mines Rescue Competition

Central Queensland’s Oaky Creek North mine has won the Australian Mines Rescue Competition at Cook Colliery.

In testing weather conditions – where temperatures reached 39C – the team held off strong opposition from eight other teams who had already won regional qualifying competitions to get to the finals (three from Queensland, four from New South Wales and one from Tasmania).

The event included a challenging mix of crisis scenarios, first aid and theory. The first part of the competition consisted of four exercises on the surface of the mine and ran for about four hours. Throughout this time, the team wore the full underground kit, including breathing apparatus. Following a 40 minute break, where the team rehydrated, the rest of the competition took place underground. Competing in an older section of the mine, the team was faced with a mixture of extreme humidity and dust and their vision was restricted
to approximately three metres for the exercise.

“The team’s victory is the result of  excellent preparation, significant expertise and the ability to execute the required skills under a range of pressures. This competition is beneficial to our industry’s safety standards
as it enables mine teams to hone and test their skills in a live, competitive environment,” said Darren Nicholls, Director of Glencore’s Underground Operations in Queensland

Highlighting the point about preparation, the team undertook three weeks of intense training at Cook Colliery, the Tieri fire station and the Dysart Mines Rescue Facility before the event. It also participated in a motivational session which emphasised the effort required prior to the event and focus needed on the day itself.

The winning team was made up of:

Jim Young – Captain
Lenny Suluvale – Vice Captain
Luke Vella – Number 3
Tim Trewin – Number 4
Steve Dawe – Number 5
Michael Corrie – Number 6
James Vardanega – 7th Man
Jason Krebs – 8th Man

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