New mines rescue station launches with first aid competition

Nine teams from mines across the Western region competed at the 2017 Coal Services Western Region First Aid competition on Friday, 1 December.

The event took place at the new Moolarben Mines Rescue Station that was officially opened as part of the event.

Located at Yancoal’s Moolarben Coal Mine, the opening of the Mines Rescue Station follows extensive consultation with stakeholders in the region to improve mines rescue emergency response capability to mines in the area.

Brian Kelly, regional manager Western Mines Rescue, said the day was significant because it acknowledges the role of the mining industry in the Mudgee-Ulan region.

‘We have five coal mines employing more than 2,000 workers, which is about 10 per cent of the total NSW coal mining workforce and the industry here is growing,” he said.

Mr Kelly explained the first aid competition was an opportunity for teams to test the mines rescue and first aid skills they learn through specialised training. Mines rescue brigadesmen, emergency response and first aid officers participated in a series of complex, simulated scenarios ranging from burns and breaks, to amputation and snakebite.

Glencore’s Ulan Underground team won the overall title and also took home the trophy for ‘best team theory’.

Captain Gary Reedy said the team were ecstatic with the result as it was the first time they had competed as a team. 

‘Some of us had competed at mines rescue competitions before and today’s scenarios tested a wide range of skills that really made us think about our approach and what we might need to get better at,’ he said.

‘It was great to see so many mines represented and it says a lot about the value that our industry place on events like this.’

The following mine sites participated in the 2017 Western Region First Aid Competition:

  • Yancoal | Moolarben Surface, Moolarben Underground
  • Glencore | Ulan Surface Operations, Ulan West, Ulan Underground
  • Peabody Energy | Wilpinjong
  • Centennial Coal | Springvale (2 teams)
  • CMOC | Northparkes

Scenarios comprised:

  • Vehicle collision 
  • Industrial accident 
  • Allergy 
  • Snakebite 
  • Burns 
  • Amputation 
  • Drug-related incident