Saturday, May 12, 2018 saw zone mine rescue competitions between local mines held in Sparwood with awards given out at the evening banquet at the Fernie Community Centre.

Master of Ceremonies was Greg Sword who praised all of the competitors and touched on technology and new changes that have been made in recent years, noting even small things like backpacks instead of duffel bags that leaves hand free, adding, “you’re ready at a moment’s notice because that’s what you like to do.”

Ian Anderson, General Manager of the host mine Teck Coal Fording River Operations gave a moving speech saying that everyone works together practicing over and over until they get it right, that they step forward instead of stepping back that they are a team , a unity that forges together for a common purpose, and that this team had a larger team of spouses, kids judges and others that support them, “Recognize your team, you struggle, you work together and forge together for a common purpose”.

Robin Sheremeta Senior Vice President of Teck Coal spoke next and touched on the recent casualty praising all the teams but singling out Fording River and Greenhills mine rescue people who jumped to attention and although trained for hours and hours were helpless that day to save a life and understood how they felt and how that frustration had been put into this competition.

Mike Duffey director of Health and Safety also thanked Fording River and Greenhills teams for responding quickly to the circumstances and said with “ support from you, with your dedication and selflessness, we can reach our goal of everyone going home safe every day”. He then thanked the organizers of the competition and everyone involved including the “miracle team, the women group who should be very proud of themselves.”

Wayne Stetski MP Kootenay Columbia also spoke thanking everyone for the work they do to keep everyone safe every day and wishing the winners good luck in the provincials.

Guests attending included MLA Tom Shypitka, Doran Jones, Kristopher Bailey, Barry Tracey, Acting Mayor for Elkford Steve Fairburn, Jenna Jensen acting Mayor District of Sparwood, Sparwood Fire Chief Dean Spry, and Trevor Fairburn of Fernie Fire Rescue and myself representing Fernie.

Jerrold Jewsbury Ministry of Mines, Inspector of Mines and Chief Judge then went up to give out the awards, saying “It was a great day, and you are all winners”. He thanked everyone for being invited again saying this was his 6th year as chief judge.

Years of Service Awards E.K.M.I.S.A were presented to Patrick Milan and Jim Friesen.

On behalf of the city of Fernie I extend sincere congratulations to the individuals and to teams taking home trophies. Also congratulations go to everyone who participated. It’s because of this involvement and dedication to safety that is clearly, deeply felt that so many individuals can take the time, effort and sacrifice that is required for training and education to become competitors.

Each of you, your spouse, your family and supporters are thanked for the constant contribution that you all provide to the workplace, to mine rescue and to the community. This dedication is what contributes to the success of mine rescue and is truly a great achievement for labour, Management and mines inspection.

Thank you to the organizers of this event, to all competitors, volunteers, judges, and all that assisted.

Congratulations to all the winners of the EKMISA Zone Competition!

3 Person First Aid:
– Best Written: Carey Stephenson (EVO)
– Best Captain: Krista Richardson (GHO)
– Second Place: Line Creek
– First Place: Elkview

Mine Rescue:
– Best Written: (tie) Brett Robertson (EVO) & Dustin Nigegeers (LCO)
– Best Captain: Cody Waugh (GHO)
– Fire Chiefs Award for Best Fire: Elkview
– Best Rope: Fording River
– Best Bench: Greenhills
– Second Place: Line Creek
– First Place: Elkview

Mine rescue zone competitions 2018

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