Maintaining their stellar year of award wins, the Kirkland Lake Gold Fosterville team took home four awards at this year’s Victorian Mines Rescue Competition (VMRC) including the overall win.

Part of Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville ERT

The Evolution Mining ERT happy with their weekend

Held over 12 – 14 October and hosted by Kirkland Lake Gold at their Fosterville Gold Mine 20km outside of Bendigo, the 26th VMRC saw nine mines rescue and emergency response teams (ERT) compete in a variety of simulated emergency situations. The event was designed to put competitors skills to the test, with the opportunity to share their extensive knowledge and gain direct feedback.

The highly contested event saw Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville ERT scoop four of the ten awards, taking out the Firefighting, First Aid, Overall Safety and Overall Winner categories.

“The awards are just recognition for the ongoing dedication to learning and training shown by our ERT members,” said Kirkland Lake Gold’s Fosterville Gold Mine Safety Manager Brad Turner.

Newcrest’s ERT heading into the Search & Rescue exercise

“To pick up four awards under the leadership of 2nd year Captain Tyson Taylor, is a result of positive communication, teamwork and commitment from the team across all disciplines,” he continued.

GIG members Newcrest and Evolution Mining also competed, with Newcrest’s ERT taking out the Skills and Theory awards whilst Simon Delander General Manager HSE and Risk at Evolution Mining, provided his expertise as Head Adjudicator.

The underground exercises included Firefighting, First Aid and Search and Rescue. The teams where given an initial brief on the surface before being taken underground to be handed over to the scenario adjudicators.

The surface exercises included Ropes, Skills and Breathing Apparatus – which consisted of part theory and part practical assessment.

The ropes exercise was conducted in the processing plant utilising the height of the mill deck and stairwell. This scenario required the teams to set anchors on the stairwell and a piece of mobile equipment to land one of their team members on a spot half way between the two points.

The Spence Heard exercise is held at the end of the weekend to engage all teams for a more lighthearted event and a bit of fun, whilst still encouraging teamwork and cooperation. This year, the exercise involved getting your team across an Olympic-sized swimming pool using two drums, some rope, a plastic pallet and one oar!

“The event organising committee, volunteers and sponsors must also be acknowledged and thanked for their efforts, ensuring the success of the 2018 Victorian Mines Rescue Competition,” said Mr Turner.