Local Vale mine rescuers dedicated their win at the 61st annual Ontario Mine Rescue Competition over the weekend to two colleagues who had died at Vale's Stobie Mine in Greater Sudbury just a few days before.
Thirty-five-year-old Jason Chenier and 26-year-old Jordan Fram were killed in an accident at the mine June 8.
The fatalities, a poignant reminder of the importance of mine rescue, were commemorated with a minute silence as most participants and audience members wore black ribbons, a press release from Ontario Mine Rescue stated.
The Vale team members were given golden helmets for winning the competition.
Mine rescue team members are trained to respond to all types of mine emergencies including fires, explosions and fall of ground.
Teams from across Ontario who won the seven district competitions held in early May competed in a simulated emergency over two days at Barrick-Hemlo’s Williams Mine near Marathon.
Teams were evaluated on their firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment and decision-making ability under stress in an underground environment.
During the exercise the six-member teams had to extinguish a fire, find missing miners - including rescuing an unconscious miner from a catwalk, and treat their injuries. Much of the rescue was conducted “under oxygen” (using rebreathing apparatus) underground.
The Vale team also won the Team Firefighting award. Barrick-Hemlo technician Denis Bilodeau won the Technician award.
Barrick-Hemlo was the overall runner-up in the competition, Xstrata Copper, Kidd Mine won the Team First Aid award, and Xstrata Nickel won the Team Special Equipment award.
-Posted by Heidi Ulrichsen