Going for the gold hard-hats

By Carl Clutchey
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Chronicle-Journal

Impala Canada’s Lac Des Iles palladium mine is to represent the Thunder Bay district at next month’s Ontario Mine Rescue competition final to be held this year at Fort William Gardens.

A three-day district-level competition was held last week at the NorWest Recreation Centre in Kakabeka Falls for both the Thunder Bay and Red Lake mining districts.

For the Red Lake district, Red Lake’s Evolution Mining emerged as the top rescue squad to advance to the provincial competition final at the Gardens, to take place June 4-7.

The final event is to feature rescue squads representing the province’s eight mining districts. Only one squad will come out on top, with its members receiving the gold hard-hats.

Lac Des Iles’ Monika Jorgensen and Newmont Musselwhite’s Gabriel Roy were deemed to be the top technicians at their respective district competitions at the Kakabeka Falls event.

Rescue squads aren’t told in advance what type of simulated emergency they will face. Competitions are open to the public.

At the district-level competitions last week, rescue squads “put their first-aid knowledge to the test by retrieving a casualty from a confined space, and treating a diabetic casualty with low sugars,” a Workplace Safety North news release said.

Squads then had to put out a fire while wearing covered masks to simulate decreased visibility that would occur during an actual underground fire.