Nunavut’s Meadowbank mine rescue team excels in territorial championships
“The competition was fierce”
Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.’s Meadowbank gold mine rescue team took top honours in two events at the 56th Annual Mine Rescue Championship in Yellowknife June 15 and June 16.
Teams from mines in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon competed in seven different events: first-aid, fire fighting, rope rescue, smoke testing while wearing self-contained breathing apparatus, extrication and tests of practical and theoretical knowledge.
The competing teams included Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank mine; Dominion Diamond’s Ekati Diamond Mine (two teams), Diavik Diamond Mine, De Beers Canada’s Snap Lake Diamond Mine, Capstone Mining’s Minto Mine and North American Tungsten’s Cantung Mine.
The Meadowbank team took top honours in the rope rescue, which required participants to send a team member down a rocky hill using ropes and rigging, stabilize a vehicle and rescue a casualty.
The team also came in first in the smoke test event, which required participants to put on breathing apparatuses while conducting a rescue of an injured person in a contaminated environment.
Ekati’s team, from the NWT, was declared the overall winner for surface mine rescue teams.
“I can tell you the competition was fierce. And, because the events are all held outside, unlike underground mine rescue competitions, the teams also had to contend with weather conditions that were less than ideal,” said Michel Létourneau, Agnico Eagle’s corporate director for health and safety.
“But our team worked extremely well together. They learned an enormous amount, gained a lot of experience and are now more prepared than ever to face a true emergency. It was a great day for Team Meadowbank and they should be very proud of their performance!”
“I’m very proud of our team,” added Dominique Girard, Meandowbank’s general manager. “The competition level was high, but Meadowbank’s mine rescue team definitely proved they are shining stars this weekend!”
The NWT and Nunavut Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission organizes the annual event as part of its mandate to promote workplace safety in all northern workplaces.