2023 Ontario mine rescue district competition winners announced

Dates set in June for provincial mine rescue stage

2023 Ontario mine rescue district competition winners announced

Ontario Mine Rescue (OMR) has announced the 2023 mine rescue district competitions, where mine rescue volunteers showcased their skills and expertise. The competitions featured volunteers from various districts, including Algoma, Kirkland Lake, Onaping, Red Lake, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Timmins, and Southern.

According to Ted Hanley, vice president of mine rescue and emergency services at Workplace Safety North, these competitions play a crucial role in maintaining up-to-date skills and practices. The scenarios presented during the competitions were designed to assess the participants' knowledge while providing an excellent opportunity for teams to collaborate and learn from one another.

The district competitions took place from May 10 to 12, and the winners from each district will advance to the provincial competition scheduled for June 13 to 16 in Hagersville, Ontario.

Mine rescue team members, who are volunteer mine workers trained by Mine Rescue Officers, are an integral part of Ontario Mine Rescue. These dedicated individuals are prepared to respond to various mine emergencies, such as fires, explosions, and falls of ground.

During the competitions, five-member teams were challenged with tasks such as extinguishing a small fire and rescuing a severely injured miner who had suffered critical injuries due to a mine collapse.

Ontario Mine Rescue (OMR), which operates under the authority of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, is a part of Workplace Safety North (WSN). OMR, headquartered in Sudbury, ensures that mines within a specific geographic area have sufficient emergency response capabilities by staffing, equipping, and maintaining a network of mine rescue stations across the province.

Over the past eight decades, Ontario Mine Rescue has trained and equipped thousands of volunteers, enabling them to fight fires, rescue injured personnel, and respond professionally to a wide range of incidents in provincial mines.

OMR's responsibilities include delivering training to mine rescue responders, providing consultations, conducting audits, ensuring the maintenance of WSN-owned equipment according to manufacturers' recommended standards, and offering technical consultation to mine operators during emergencies.

The winners of the Ontario Mine Rescue District Competitions in each district are as follows:

Algoma District: The Newmont Borden Mine team emerged victorious. The team members include Captain Patrick Gilbert, Vice Captain Jay Chenier, Ryan Levac (#2), Hank Harrison (#3), Tristan Larcher (#4), Nick Swanson (#6), Perry Canning (#7), and Briefing Officer Kyle Besnier. Kyle Oullette from Island Gold Mine was recognized as the winning technician.

Kirkland Lake District: The Agnico Eagle Mines Macassa Mine team secured the top position. Captain Nick Perrier, Vice Captain Hubert Gour, Jackson Lafrance (#2), Jean Francois Racine (#3), Denis Dion (#4), Carlie Dewar (#6), Basil Eraif (#7), and Briefing Officer April Belecque were part of the winning team. Jason Dicaire from Agnico Eagle Mines Macassa Mine was named the winning technician.

Onaping District: The Glencore team triumphed in this district. Captain Julien Lalande, #2 Jesse Legault, #3 Neil Poulin, #4 Aaron Boutet, Vice-Captain Shawn O’Brian, #6 Pat Robitaille, #7 Xavier Bruneau, and Briefing Officer Bleir Millions were members of the victorious team. JY Doiron from Vale East Mines was recognized as the winning technician.

Red Lake District: The Newmont Musselwhite Mine team emerged victorious. Captain Phil Mullin, Vice Captain Alexa Dumaine, Scott Lawson (#2), Leaf Watson (#3), Nick Gosselin (#4), Jimmy Sinclair (#6), Matt Arges (#7), and Briefing Officer Ryan Lepage were part of the winning team. Darren Bullied from Evolution Mining, Red Lake Operations was named the winning technician.

Southern District: The Compass Minerals Goderich Mine team secured the top position. Captain David Kelly, Vice Captain Joel Paquette, Cody Lobb (#2), Gordon Bailey (#3), Kyle Ropp (#4), Ken Nguyen (#6), Amanda Haak, Shea Bradley, and Briefing Officer Jason Phillip were members of the winning team. Mike Fredriksson, an independent mine rescue technician, received the top technician award for the Southern district.

Sudbury District: The Vale East Mines team emerged victorious in this district. Captain Kordell Hull, #2 Will Davies, #3 Ryan Tinker, #4 Jason Cook, Vice-Captain Jeremy Faulkner, #6 Will Langois, #7 Loni-May Barlow, and Briefing Officer Shawn St. Louis were part of the winning team.

Thunder Bay District: The Impala Canada Lac Des Isles Mine team secured the top position. Captain Brad Kemp, Vice Captain Cody Vold, Dillon Bradley (#2), Chris Cameron (#3), Ethan Gorman (#4), Devin Jackson (#6), Dave Chony (#7), and Briefing Officer Tyler Williams were members of the winning team. Monika Jorgenson from Impala Canada Lac Des Isles Mine was named the winning technician.

Timmins District: The Lakeshore Gold Timmins West-Bell Creek Mines team emerged victorious. Captain Adam Weagle, Vice Captain Natalie Lafontaine, Shane Sullivan (#2), Brandon Duhan (#3), Blade Cashmore (#4), Serge Roy (#6), and Briefing Officer Terry Roy were part of the winning team. Mike Bennett from Kidd Mine was named the winning technician.

For more information about the Ontario Mine Rescue and the competitions, visit their website at https://www.workplacesafetynorth.ca/subsite/ontario-mine-rescue.