Levitt-Safety Blog

Celebrating Bravery and Skill: The Importance of Mine Rescue

Derek McEwenMarket Segment Manager, Fire Systems and Mining TechnologyJuly 10, 2024

Mining is an industry where safety is paramount. The need for constant readiness to respond to emergencies is a reality. Mine rescue competitions, far from just about honing skills, play a crucial role in fostering a spirit of camaraderie and excellence. They serve as a powerful reminder that we are part of a larger community, a community deeply committed to promoting safety and recognizing the bravery and dedication of mine rescue. This shared commitment unites us and drives us to strive for the highest standards of safety.

As this year’s events have ended and we all return home safely yet again, we reflect on the importance of these competitions as a moment of pride and growth. Mine Rescue ensures mine rescue competence and serves as a platform to recognize and deeply appreciate the bravery and dedication of our mine rescue heroes.


What is Mine Rescue?

Mine rescue competitions are rigorous events that provide invaluable practical learning opportunities. They bring together teams from various mining companies and regions, providing a platform to showcase and enhance their emergency response skills.

These competitions test the completeness of emergency response plans, facilitate knowledge sharing, expose teams to real-world scenarios, and allow them to practice the skills they have learned, enhancing their readiness for any eventuality. This hands-on experience gives us the confidence to face any emergency. These competitions simulate real-life mining scenarios in underground and surface mines for participants to demonstrate their expertise in critical areas such as:

Donning Bench and Mine Problem:

This task simulates the initial steps of a rescue team responding to an emergency. Ventilation of the mine is a crucial component of safe rescue and mine rehabilitation. Fire, smoke, explosive or poisonous gasses, and ground-fall or water build-up are some of the hazards a team may face during a mine rescue.

Smoke Task: Designed to challenge competitors by removing one of their vital senses, vision, teams depend on clear communication and cooperation to navigate an unfamiliar setting safely.

Fire Task: The mine rescue teams will use props and real flames to test their firefighting skills. Proper application of firefighting knowledge and techniques is key to this event.

Written Exam: Each team will complete a written exam covering all elements of mine rescue.

Practical Skills Task: A series of events challenging a team’s competencies in different areas of mine rescue procedures and equipment use, such as rope work, knots, gas detection or extrication.

First Aid: Teams are challenged with a complex scenario to test their first aid skills in patient care.

Bench Technician: Closed-circuit breathing apparatuses are crucial tools in mine rescue. This task challenges the technicians’ ability to assemble units for use and solve operating issues.

Extrication Task: This task requires teams to showcase different skills by extricating trapped workers using various equipment.

Rope: Teams are challenged with a unique task that tests their ability to safely rig systems to accommodate a heavy load, similar to what may be required in a rescue situation.

Provincial mine rescue and first aid competitions have been an annual fixture since the 1900s, a testament to the mining industry's unwavering commitment to safety. These competitions, steeped in tradition, bring mine rescue teams together to test their emergency response abilities, continuing a legacy of excellence and dedication.

From planning and developing the competition tasks to judging and scoring participants to conducting live on-site training, Levitt-Safety is not just a participant but a key supporter of mine rescue from coast to coast. We are honoured to be part of these events, and our involvement underscores our unwavering commitment to safety in the mining industry.

This year, Levitt-Safety participated in mine rescue competitions in Alberta (30+ years), British Colombia (40+ years), Manitoba (30+ years), Saskatchewan (20+ years), and Nunavut/Northwest Territories (20+ years), and conducted live fire training in Alberta, Manitoba, and British Colombia mines.

We had the honour of teaching participants how to inspect and recharge fire extinguishers, the classes of fire and how to approach each one, and the various techniques to fight different types of fires. This year was the first time Levitt-Safety conducted live fire training in Manitoba. Thank you to Manitoba Mine Rescue (MAMI) for the opportunity to share our knowledge.

We must also mention our industry partners' unwavering commitment to safety. Thank you to ANSUL®, MSA, PIP, DSA, 3M, Industrial Scientific and Thersty for your continued support and sponsorship throughout the competitions.

Levitt-Safety sponsors trophies across all regions to celebrate the regional competitions’ Fire Task and Overall winners. Let's take a moment to celebrate the outstanding achievements and highlights of this year's event participants, winners, and mine rescuers involved in all the mine rescue competitions. Your efforts to ensure miners' safety are inspiring. We look forward to celebrating even more remarkable achievements in the future.

Levitt-Safety’s Mining Solutions

With an extensive background in the mining industry, Levitt-Safety has established itself as a leader in providing innovative solutions that drive efficiency and sustainability.

Our cutting-edge technologies and expert team enable us to offer comprehensive services, including but not limited to VFSS, Engineered Systems, ExtinguishersGas Detection Systems, Flame Resistant PPE, Women’s PPE, and Specialized Firefighting Equipment.

To learn more about how Levitt-Safety supports Canadian mining and safeguards its people, download the Ultimate Guide to Mining Safety in Canada. It provides a comprehensive breakdown of the Canadian mining landscape, the latest technological advancements, and critical services to keep your team safe and ensure that your mine operations run smoothly.

Advanced Digital Solutions

The N-Connex wireless network solution is valuable for personnel, vehicle, and asset tracking in mining operations. It offers a simple and modular underground Wi-Fi platform that ensures seamless connectivity even in challenging environments. Alongside NLT’s Digital Mine Software, underground spaces are transformed into highly productive and safe areas.

NLT’s Digital Mine Suite of software applications offers a centralized platform for location tracking, environmental monitoring, emergency management, automation, and text messaging. It also acts as an administration and reporting tool, streamlining operations, improving efficiency and ensuring underground safety.

Polaris Plus– the world’s #1 cap lamp!

NLT manufactures world-renowned cap lamps like the award-winning Polaris Plus. As the world’s brightest and most versatile cap lamp, the Polaris Plus creates a glowing, versatile cap lamp that provides the appropriate light for every job a miner does.

The cordless, compact Polaris Plus is ruggedly crafted for use in the harshest environments, including underground mining and tunnelling operations. It features three beam patterns, a Dynamic Turbo Bright mode, and a powerful lithium-ion battery with improved LED technology that increases the lamp’s primary output by 33%.

A Final Word…

Mine Rescue Competitions are more than just a contest; they celebrate the courage, skill, and dedication of mining personnel and the Canadian mining industry. This year's achievements highlight the continuous improvement in safety protocols and emergency response techniques.

What’s unique about this event is that many participants are competitors in the industry. However, during this competition, we focus on what matters… ensuring emergency responders are prepared for emergencies to help ensure their coworkers are Home Safe Always.

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