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Timmins team comes out on top at provincial competition

Ontario Mine Rescue's annual skills competition took place in Hagersville June 13-16

Timmins miners rose to the top of a provincial competition. 

Lake Shore Gold's Timmins West-Bell Creek mines won the 2023 Ontario Mine Rescue competition, which was held June 13-16 at Canadian Gypsum Company Mine in Hagersville. 

“At this competition, teams from eight different mining districts in Ontario came together to compete. These teams had been training for two months leading up to the event. The competition was a way to see how well they could handle a simulated mine emergency," said Ted Hanley, Ontario Mine Rescue's vice-president, in a news release.

While district competitions are often held in arenas with simulated tests, the provincial competition is held in an operating underground mine. The competitions test each team in areas such as emergency response knowledge, firefighting skills, first-aid response and decision-making ability under stress. 

The 2023 event offered new challenges. 

"The teams had to rescue a civilian who had fallen into a mine shaft, use drones to assess unstable and collapsed mine areas, put out an underground vehicle fire, and rescue a trapped mine worker from a collapse," reads the announcement.

All of the teams did a great job and resolved the emergency scenario, said Hanley.

“They were evaluated on how well they created an emergency action plan, how quickly and skillfully they completed the rescue tasks, and how they prioritized safety," he said.

Lake Shore Gold's winning team includes captain Adam Weagle, #2 Shane Sullivan, #3 Brandon Duhan, #4 Blade Cashmore, #5  and vice captain Natalie Lafontaine,  #6 Serge Roy, briefing officer Terry Roy, coach Jim Davis, and mine rescue officers Jason Leger, Mat Johnson, and Danny Taillefer.

Second place went to Newmont's Musselwhite Mine. 

In the individual technician competitions, Vale Sudbury East's Jean-Yves Doiron placed first, Timmins Glencore Kidd Mine's Michael Bennett was second, and Alamos Gold's Island Gold Mine's Kyle Oullette was third. 

Other awards went to: 

  • Team Firefighting Award: Vale Sudbury East Mines
  • Team First Aid Award: Glencore Sudbury INO Fraser and Nickel Rim South Mines
  • Team Special Equipment Award (Rope Rescue): Vale Sudbury East Mines
  • Team Theory Exam Award: Glencore Sudbury INO Fraser and Nickel Rim South Mines
  • Briefing Officer Award: Ryan Lepage, Newmont, Musselwhite Mine

Seven technicians also scored perfect on their written exam. They were: 

  • Alexa Dumaine (Newmont, Musselwhite Mine)
  • Brad Kemp (Impala Canada, Lac des Isles Mine)
  • Adam Weagle and Natalie Lafontaine (Lake Shore Gold, Timmins West-Bell Creek Mines)
  • Hubert Gour (Agnico Eagle, Macassa Mine)
  • Julien Lalande and Jesse Legault (Glencore Sudbury INO, Fraser-Nickel Rim South Mines)

— TimminsToday