A mine rescue team extinguishes a fire during the “other/environment” task at the 97th annual mine rescue competition in Sparwood on Saturday. Photos by Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Elkview wins 97th mine rescue competition

EKMISA hosts 97th annual mine rescue competition in Sparwood

Quadbikers nursing bloodied wounds cry out in pain, a structure bursts into flames and smoke pours out of a nearby building with a man trapped inside.

It’s not a mass emergency but the 97th annual mine rescue competition, hosted by the East Kootenay Mines Industrial Safety Association (EKMISA) at the Sparwood fire hall on Saturday.

Five teams competed in this year’s competition, four of which represented Teck coal mines: Greenhills, Fording River, Elkview and Line Creek.

They put their skills and knowledge to the test during five tasks – fire, bench, rope, other/environment and three person first aid – and were judged on their performance in each.

Elkview was named the winner of both the three- and six-person events, while Line Creek placed second. Both teams will go on to compete at provincials in Kimberley on June 9.

Andrew Ramsay, 12, was following in his dad Scott’s footsteps when he took part in the junior first aid task with his fellow Air Cadets.

“These guys have been practicing since about February,” said Scott as he watched Andrew bandage an actor’s arm.

“It’s cool because before I was on mine rescue and they (Scott’s kids) would come to mine rescue competitions… These guys get to learn some real life skills that could potentially help someone in the future.”

Four junior first aid teams competed in the task, with Mini Badgers and Cadet 2 named the winners.

SMS Equipment was the winner of the occupational first aid level three competition.

EKMISA is a not-for-profit safety association and Teck one of its biggest supporters, with each mine taking turns to host the competition.

EKMISA treasurer Brad Hogg said this year the rope scenario was run by Ronin Rescue and TNT Rescue.

“Normally the mine sites run the scenarios but due to the closing of Coal Mountain, that created an opening for Ronin and TNT to run the event,” he said.

“TNT sponsored the rope trophies.”

Hogg said EKMISA would continue to provide a professional and well run competition to allow mine rescue personnel to develop their skills and team work.


A member of the Greenhills team completes the bench task.

Andrew Ramsay, 12, bandages an actor’s arm during the junior first aid task.

Smoke poured out of a building during the fire task.

Team Miracle tends to an injured quadbiker.

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