Although Kimberley no longer has an operating mine, it has a rich mining heritage. That’s one of the reasons the Ministry of Energy and Mines asked the city to host the provincial mine rescue competition in 2016 and 2017.
The competition is upon on this Saturday as teams from across the province compete in the 61st Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition at Centennial Hall and Coronation Park. Competition gets underway at 7 a.m. and goes all day until 4 p.m.
Teams will compete in simulated rescue missions and fire fighting. Teams will demonstrate their expertise in emergency response and mine rescue in one of three competitions:
Surface Mine Rescue – Teams will compete in extrication, rope rescue, fire fighting, practical skills and first aid. This includes a written exam.
Underground Mine Rescue teams compete in obstacle and recovery, donning bench, practical skills and first aid and a written exam.
Three person first aid teams will also compete in a demonstration of basic first aid skills in a simulated emergency.
There will be lots to see and if you are interested in taking in some of the competition, organizers advise that parking will be limited as some of the simulated rescue activities will be taking place in the Centennial Hall parking lot.
British Columbia’s mining laws require that trained mine rescue personnel and mine rescue equipment be maintained at all mines. Basic mine rescue training courses are conducted at mining properties across the province so that miners have an opportunity to learn the skills mine rescue teams require. Once the basic skills are learned, many hours of training and practice are needed to develop a competent mine rescue team that can work together and with other teams to accomplish rescue objectives in the event of a mine disaster.
Competitions such as the one in Kimberley this weekend are valuable to teams to make sure their skills are kept sharp.