International mine rescue competition appoints Canadian chair

International mine rescue competition appoints Canadian chair
Workplace Safety North is pleased to announce the appointment of Marc Lauzier as chair of the 2016 International Mines Rescue Competition taking place for the first time ever in Canada.

From Aug. 19 to 26, 30 teams from 20 countries will be in Sudbury, Ont., to test their skills in mine emergency simulations and share best practices in crisis management. When fires break out in underground mines or miners become trapped or injured, workers can’t simply dial 911. Underground mines rely on highly trained and specialized teams of volunteers known as mine rescuers, who are prepared and equipped to respond at a moment’s notice.

Lauzier, vice-president of operational support in Canada and the United States at Goldcorp, first signed up for mine rescue training in Quebec during his first year in the mining industry more than 20 years ago.

“When I moved to Ontario, it took me a couple of years to get back on the team because there was a waiting list back then,” said Lauzier. “I finally got back on the team and I was probably active for five or six years and then I went on as a briefing officer and did that for a while until I got promoted to roles where I needed to work in the control room.”

Lauzier is also chair of the Ontario Mining Association.

“While this is the first time Canada hosts the International Mines Rescue Competition, Marc and the OMA (Ontario Mining Association) have been passionate supporters of Ontario Mine Rescue for many years,” notes Ted Hanley, general manager of Ontario Mine Rescue.

Ontario Mine Rescue trains and equips hundreds of volunteers to fight fires, rescue injured personnel, and respond to a wide array of emergencies in the province’s mines. As organizer of Ontario’s annual district and provincial mine rescue competitions, OMR continually works to develop specialized mine emergency response training programs that have been adopted elsewhere in Canada and in several countries.

The general public has been invited to attend, and Lauzier notes the Sudbury community has a special opportunity to observe the intensity of the competition, and the strength of their unique and special camaraderie.

In 1928, a fire broke out in a Timmins, Ont., gold mine, killing 39 miners. This incident, one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian history, led to the creation of the internationally renowned Ontario Mine Rescue emergency response service, a part of Workplace Safety North (WSN).

Photo of Marc Lauzier courtesy of Workplace Safety North