In Safe Hands With Mines Rescue

Posted by Gold FM on 19/10/2012

final rescue chopper exercise

The Newmont Waihi Gold Mines Rescue Team proved how valuable an asset they are when they raced into action to make sure the result was as good as it gets after a truck caught fire in the Trio underground mine in May this year. Their work has been noticed and praised throughout the mining industry.

Rescue personnel must know the procedures used to rescue miners trapped by various hazards, including fires explosions, cave-ins, toxic gas, smoke inhalation, and water entering the mine. As mine rescue is particularly dangerous work, rescue crews are usually made up of volunteers who risk their own lives to save their fellow workers. Mine rescue teams are usually composed of miners who know the particular mine, and are familiar with the various sorts of mine machinery they may encounter during the rescue, the layout of workings and geological conditions and working practices.

The Mines rescue team at Newmont work hard to keep themselves fit and up to the task if the call to action comes. It takes commitment and discipline to be in the team and practise makes perfect. The mining industry takes safety at their sites very seriously and rescue staff are regularly involved in Mines Rescue competitions.

Waihi's Mine Rescue Captain Dave Oliver has just returned from a competition in Perth where he headed a team who had just four days preparation together before they competed against other international rescue teams. Members from three different countries who had never met, had no common language and had never participated in competitions stepped up under Dave's guidance to take away one first, two second and three third places in the overall competition.

Newmont Waihi Gold's Emergency Services Advisor Pete Lowe said afterwards "It vividly demonstrated that having standardised procedures across countries and sites and having the same equipment and techniques provides Newmont with the flexibility we need across the industry. It's comforting to know that we have teams just like ours who are only a plane ride away should we ever need them, and of course we are ready to assist at other sites should the need ever arise".

Waihi's mining families can be proud knowing that they have a dedicated, professional group of rescue staff ready at a moment's notice.