Fernie mayor Ange Qualizza says that a rumour alleging the City will not host the National Western Region Mine Rescue Competition is false.
Since 1993, the City of Fernie has hosted the competition, which showcases the vast knowledge, training, commitment, and professionalism of mining emergency response and rescue teams. Every second year, the biennial event attracts surface and underground rescue teams from across Canada and the United States, who compete in seven categories that simulate potential mining accidents and scenarios that require a response by mine rescue teams.
The rumour, which circulated on social media, detailed the City’s alleged stance on hosting the mine rescue competition, including an un-named city official saying the competition ‘no longer holds value’
In response to a request for comment, Mayor Ange Qualizza says these rumours are false.
“The Mine Rescue committee has worked hard to make sure this event can be sustainable now and in the future, and we look forward to continuing to host an event that allows for opportunities for competitors to test their skills against industry standards, and train their members in safe and controlled environments,” said Qualizza in an email.
“We recognize that Fernie is a community that has a long tradition of blending a stable resource economy alongside our tourism economy, and the success of Fernie is that both economic partners work well to support one another,” she added.
She explained that as council moves through a service level review, they are committed to ‘better understanding the supporting the many events that happen in Fernie’.
“Council has never discussed cancelling the Mine Rescue Competition, period,” said Qualizza.
This year, the 14th Biennial National Western Region Mine Rescue Competition will take place from September 5 to 7.
Simulated underground tasks will take place at the Fernie Curling Club on Friday, September 6, and the surface competition at the Fernie Aquatic Centre grounds the following day.