Waihi team wins inaugural Mines Rescue Competition
A team from Newmont Waihi Gold took out first spot in the inaugural New Zealand Mines Rescue Competition over the weekend.
Four teams took part in the event which was hosted by Newmont Waihi Gold. The teams undertook a series of tests including a simulated underground search and rescue, a fitness test and a bench test which involved identifying equipment faults and theory questions.
The Waihi Black team finished first, ahead of the Mines Rescue team from Huntly. A second Waihi team, Waihi Red, came third, with the OceanaGold team rounding out the field. Waihi Black’s Dave Oliver was judged Best Team Captain.
WorkSafe New Zealand took the lead in organising the competition which was also supported by Straterra Inc., Newmont Waihi Gold, MITO, MinEx and Gough Cat. Such competitions are common internationally and are a proven way to simulate the sort of pressure rescuers face in real life emergency situations due to the highly-charged nature of competing and the unknown elements of individual events.
WorkSafe’s chief executive Gordon MacDonald observed the competition and says the teams were really put through their paces in a true test of their mettle.
“Mines rescue work is dangerous and highly specialised. Judging by the commitment and expertise on display on Saturday I have no doubt about the teams’ ability to step up in the unfortunate event that there is a real emergency.
“My congratulations go to Waihi Black and its captain Dave Oliver – and to all the teams involved.
“The Mines Rescue Competition is a classic case of hoping for the best while planning for the worst. Major incidents are rare but it is good to know that there are professional and dedicated rescue teams ready if we need them,” says Gordon MacDonald.