And the Winners are…

The weather conditions this past weekend were less than favourable, but there is still nothing more inspiring than watching mine rescue teams at work. You could even say that their accomplishments on Saturday were more impressive given the heavy rain and muddy conditions.

The annual Mine Rescue Competition has always been about teamwork and mutual aid, but this year, it was more evident than ever. By the late afternoon, in the windiest of circumstances, with only one or two teams left to complete the underground obstacle course, the wooden structure that had been set up to simulate an underground scenario was threatening to blow over.

Without hesitation, nearby teams who were finished stepped up to the plate. Team members, organizers, and volunteers all came forward to help hold the structure in place in the face of gusting winds. Together, they kept the structure steady so that the last teams could demonstrate their mine rescue skills. Teamwork and mutual aid. It was inspiring to witness, to say the least.

It’s easy to forget that these men and women are volunteers. Most have full-time jobs at their respective mine sites and volunteer as emergency responders in addition. They train, they sweat, they bleed – they have to train for a minimum of 40 hours to qualify. It’s grueling. Not everyone can do it. As the NWT and NU Chamber of Mines put it, seeing these teams in action shows you exactly “why our mines are among the safest in the world”.

On behalf of the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission, I want to offer my congratulations to all the participating teams this year. You all are champions of safety, and we couldn’t be more proud. Thank you for making the 60th Anniversary one to remember.

If you couldn’t stop by and take in the action, take a look at our  Facebook and Twitter posts for photos, and see below for a list of winners. Every team took home a trophy this year. Well done.  DG

Best Bench Tech

Gordon Zdyb (Ekati Diamond Mine)

Best Surface First Aid Ekati Diamond Mine – Surface Team
Best Underground First Aid Meliadine Gold Mine
Best Surface Practical Bench Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Fire Fighting Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Surface Rope Rescue Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Underground Rope Rescue Diavik Diamond Mine
Best Surface Written Test Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Underground Written Test Hope Bay Gold Mine
Best Surface Smoke Meadowbank Gold Mine
Best Underground Smoke Diavik Diamond Mine
Best Underground Bench/Field Test Diavik Diamond Mine
Best Surface Obstacle Victor Diamond Mine (Ontario)
Best Underground Obstacle Ekati Diamond Mine – Underground Team
Best Overall Surface Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine
Best Overall Underground Diavik Diamond Mine