May 29, 2017

North Goonyella makes its mark in mines rescue

North Goonyella makes its mark in mines rescue Peabody Energy senior vice-president underground operations Peter Baker (back, far left) with the winning North Goonyella team: (back) Zac Swifte, Brodyn Friend, David Pitt, Marek Romanski, (front) Matthew Fitzpatrick, Clinton Battesse, Lee Earnshaw and Cain Oldfield.

North Goonyella’s mines rescue team has topped this year’s QMRS Memorial Competition.

They were followed by Moranbah North, who also won the George Carbine Shield for excellence in first aid, in the competition at Anglo American’s Grosvenor mine this month.

Broadmeadow and Kestrel also finished in the top four ahead of Ensham, Grasstree and a mixed team called the Barbarians, predominantly comprised of Carborough Downs employees.

Chief assessor Ray Smith from the Queensland Mines Rescue Service said it had been a tight finish between the first and second-placed teams.

“There wasn’t much in it,” he said.

Among the exercises put up to test the teams’ skills was a physically challenging scenario which required the participants to walk out via a steep 1km conveyor drift after completing tasks underground.

“Two hundred and fifty metres from the top a team member needed medical aid and had to be stretchered out – so it was a test of endurance as well as technical skills,” Mr Smith said.

“Just as they thought they had ended the underground exercise, a casualty comes over from the drive head with burns on his arms and they have to go to his aid as well – so it’s that mental and physical combination.

“We always look for something to keep it interesting (when setting the exercises). Part of the challenge is to ensure they learn something and enjoy it as well.”

Peabody Energy senior vice-president underground operations Peter Baker said the group was proud of the commitment shown by the newly-formed North Goonyella mines rescue team.

“The team has shown great commitment through their mines rescue training,” he said.

The Broadmeadow team responds to a multiple casualty incident in an exercise involving CABA.

“‘Their success at the QMRS Memorial Cup Competition is a testament to this, and we’re looking forward to supporting them at the EK Healy Cup Competition in August.”

The top four performers from the QMRS Memorial Competition would usually progress to the EK Healy Cup Competition to take on the state’s four best performing teams from the previous year.

The 2016 EK Healy winners were Grosvenor, followed in the podium places by teams from Cook colliery, Oaky North and Oaky No.1.

However, with owner Caledon Coal in administration and Cook operations halted, organisers have confirmed that the Cook team has withdrawn from the 2017 competition.

Oaky No.1 also will not compete due to that Glencore-owned operation winding down.

Mr Smith said this meant Ensham and Grasstree would be joining North Goonyella, Moranbah North, Broadmeadow and Kestrel to take on Grosvenor and Oaky North.

The 47th EK Healy Cup competition will be held at the Dysart Mines Rescue Station on August 3.

Check out our photo gallery on the link below for more action from the competition.