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Macassa mine rescue team wins provincial contest

Eight teams competed in Ontario Mine Rescue competition June 4-7 in Thunder Bay
The Agnico Eagle Macassa mine rescue team (Kirkland Lake District) includes (back row, left to right): mine rescue officer Nick Schwehr, Carlie Dewar, coach Jonathan Boutin, Denis Dion, Nick Perrier, Hubert Gour, Colin Price, mine rescue officer Shawn Shail; (front row): Jason Dicaire, Jean-Francois Racine, April Belecque, Jackson Lafrance, Alamos Gold technician Garry Bennett.

A team from Agnico Eagle’s Macassa Mine in Kirkland Lake is the provincial winner of the 2024 Ontario Mine Rescue competition.

Held June 4-7 in Thunder Bay, the provincial competition welcomed eight teams — all winners at their regional events — for a full day of mine rescue activities that tested their knowledge and expertise in emergency response skills.

“We’re happy to announce that all teams completed the problem safely and successfully,” Shawn Rideout, chief mine rescue officer, said at the awards ceremony.

“There is only one winner, but in a sense, all volunteers have won something — they all persevered through the problem, learned from it, and are better first responders because of it. At the end of the day, that’s the goal of mine rescue competitions.”

The winning team includes captain Nicholas Perrier, #2 Jackson Lafrance, #3 Jean-Francois, Racine, #4 Denis Dion, vice-captain Hubert Gour, #6 Carlie Dewar, #7 Colin Price, briefing officer April Belecque, coaches Jonathan Boutin and Cliff McGill, and mine rescue officers Nick Schwehr and Shawn Shail.

This marks the first provincial win for the team since 1986.

The runner-up was the team from Lake Shore Gold’s Timmins West Bell Creek Mines.

In the individual technician competition, the following were named winners:

  • First place: Dan Rioux, Glencore Sudbury INO Fraser and Nickel Rim South Mines
  • Second place: Kyle Oullette, Alamos Island Gold Mine
  • Third place: Nick Fram, Vale Sudbury West Mines
  • Team Special Equipment Award: Canadian Gypsum Corporation Hagersville Mine
  • Team First Aid Award: Lake Shore Gold Timmins
  • Team Firefighting Award: Lake Shore Gold Timmins
  • Briefing Officer Award: Tyler Williams, Lake Shore Gold Timmins
  • Team Theory Exam Award: Glencore Sudbury INO

Headquartered in Sudbury, Ontario Mine Rescue is administered by Workplace Safety North, which provides health and safety services and training for the mining and forestry sectors.

Ontario Mine Rescue celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2019.