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East Kootenay mine rescue competition

Mine rescue competitor, Travis Verch, holding his daughter, Temperance. - Photo by J. Jensen
Mine rescue competitor, Travis Verch, holding his daughter, Temperance.
— image credit: Photo by J. Jensen

With hundreds of spectators, Teck’s five local area mines began putting what they practiced into effect during the 90th mine rescue and first aid zones held in Sparwood last week.

The morning began with a one hour written test, and when that was completed the teams began the practical. Greenhills, Fording River, Line Creek, Elkview and Coal Mountain mines began the realistic challenges, while Elk Valley residents watched.

Each of the five mines set up a station with a mock first aid event. Each event was manned with judges and victims, complete with false wounds and serious acting skills that portrayed the severity of their injuries. Each mine rescue team responded to the events being judged on timing, first aid response and skills necessary to each individual task.

Judges were a combination of safety supervisors, safety coordinators, veteran or retired mine rescue competitors and local first aid teachers.

Each of the mock incidents were extremely planned out and specific to accidents that occur in the industry and similar to the incidents that will also take place during mine rescue provincials.

In each of the tasks, no real injuries or accidents took place.

After all five mines completed the tasks, results were tallied. The mine rescue zone awards were held Saturday evening in Fernie. In the three person first aid category, Fording River placed first and Coal Mountain placed second. In the six man events, the first place mine was Greenhills and the second place was Elkview. Both first and second place teams will now advance to provincials which will take place in Revelstoke the weekend of June 10.

Also receiving awards was, Frank Desrosiers who had the best score on the written test and Coal Mountain’s Scott Cook was the number one captain. For the first time an outside team participated. SMS Equipment participated, but did not compete and was awarded a participation trophy.

Spectators not only enjoyed the stunningly realistic action but were also took a tour of the Stars Air Ambulance Mobile First Aid Training Centre and a Search and Rescue barbecue fundraiser was also on site providing food and beverages to hungry competitors and spectators alike.

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