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Guest speakers announced for annual mining safety conference

Darby Allen will speak about his experience evacuating Fort McMurray during the 2016 wildfires.
Former Fort McMurray fire chief Darby Allen, a motivational and crisis leadership speaker, will be a keynote presenter during the 21st annual Mining Health and Safety Conference in Sudbury this April. (Supplied photo)

The fire chief who spearheaded the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alta., during the devastating 2016 wildfires will lead the roster of guest speakers during the 21st annual Mining Health and Safety Conference in Sudbury this April 9-11.

Darby Allen uses his experience from the Fort McMurray wildfires as an example to speak about how to stay strong and lead with compassion during times of crisis.

He’s one of several keynote speakers slated to present during the conference, whose theme this year is “Preparing for High-risk Emergencies in Mines,” which will also celebrate the 90-year anniversary of Ontario Mine Rescue.

Other guest speakers will include: 

  • Diamonds in the Rough, the first all-women mine rescue team, which competed during the International Mine Rescue Competition in Russia, in September, 2018;
  • Ted Hanley and Shawn Rideout, who will discuss Ontario Mine Rescue’s 90-year anniversary;
  • Mannas Fourie, CEO at Mines Rescue Service in South Africa;
  • Keith Hansen and Dr. Michel Larivière, who will present the results of the Vale Canada Mining Mental Health Study; and
  • Ron DiFrancesco, who will share the story of surviving the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack in New York City.

The conference will also include a mine rescue industry panel, plenary sessions, and an exchange tradeshow.

The event will be capped off with an awards safety luncheon, recognizing achievements in mining health and safety.

The conference is presented by Workplace Safety North, the only independent not-for-profit safety association based in Northern Ontario, which provides province-wide, government-approved workplace health and safety services for mining and forest products sectors, as well as for businesses and communities across Northern Ontario.

Full conference schedule and registration details are available here.