Teamwork and Skill on Display: A Point of Pride
In 2016, we sponsored and participated in the tenth annual International Mines Rescue Competition in Sudbury, Ontario. The well-attended competition is a global event focused on improving mine rescue knowledge and safety practices, as well as providing an opportunity for participants to demonstrate their abilities and commitment to excellence in mine safety. There were 27 mine rescue teams, representing 13 nations, competing in a number of events including an underground scenario, firefighting exercises, first aid and a high angle rope rescue.
Held every two years, the competition draws mine rescue specialists from the world’s biggest mining companies and promotes training through high-level tests. While past competitions used simulations, this year’s event took a different approach by using two inactive mines to create a more authentic and realistic environment.
The simulated scenario for 2016 was an underground fire where two miners had gone missing. During the exercise, the teams had to change the mine’s ventilation, compromised by the fire, by building a wall in a smoke-filled and heated environment. The simulation called for one of the missing miners to be found seriously injured, which put the team’s first aid skills to a challenging test.
“International competitions are a unique opportunity for mine rescue team members from different nations to meet their peers, improve mine rescue skills, exchange technical and organizational knowledge and share practical experiences,” says Todd White, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President. “Serving on a mine rescue team is one of the best ways to gain leadership experience and I couldn’t be more proud of the way our team worked together.”
Goldcorp Americas was the only multi-national team competing at the event, the only team made up entirely of volunteers and the only team led by a female captain.
“Our team displayed great skill, competitiveness and team spirit and also stood out for embracing diversity,” says Paul Magny, Senior Safety Coordinator, Porcupine Gold Mines. “Throughout our team building, we very quickly eliminated any barriers and individualism, which strengthened our cohesion. It was truly inspiring to see individuals transform to create such a strong, collaborative unit, and from the first day we knew we had something very special.”