Mine rescue teams to compete in Elkford

Local emergency responders will be on display on Saturday, May 9 at the East Kootenay Zone Surface Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition.

The Elk Valley mining industry’s emergency responders will be on display on Saturday, May 9 at the 94th East Kootenay Zone Surface Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition.

The annual competition is hosted locally by the East Kootenay Mines Industrial Safety Association (EKMISA), and it gives mine rescue teams the opportunity to be judged on how they would deal with five skill challenges — first aid, fire, bench, rope and an extrication.

All five of the Elk Valley’s mine operation will be taking part in the competition. Each year a different mine operation takes on the task of organizing theses competitions. This year Greenhills Operation organized the competition, which will be hosted in Elkford at the Elkford Arena area on Michel Road.

The first and second place teams from the zone competition will go on to compete in the provincial competition this June in Smithers, B.C. and the B.C. champion will take part in the National Western Regional Mine Rescue biennial competitions, which will be held in Fernie in September 2015.

Local industries’ Occupational First Aid (OFA) teams will be competing as well as the up-and-coming intermediate (16-19 year olds) and juniors (12-15 year olds) first aid teams. These teams compete in their own emergency event, showcasing their first aid skills.

The competition day is a fun event for families. Volunteer victims and extreme make-up help to make the scenarios more realistic for the teams and spectators, and there will be a free spectator barbeque sponsored by Finning and SMS.