Kinross’ Kettle River-Buckhorn underground mine rescue team recently placed 4th at a mine rescue competition held in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Organized by the Central Mine Rescue organization and MSHA (Mine Safety & Health Administration), Kettle River-Buckhorn and two teams from Fort Knox represented Kinross and demonstrated their skills alongside their peers from other mines. The Kettle River – Buckhorn team came away with a 3rd place finish in the Rope Rescue Competition and 4th place overall during the three-day event.
As an open pit operation, the Fort Knox teams do not train for underground mine rescue and were not eligible for overall placement but entered the two teams to gain competition experience and to compete in the First Aid and Rope Rescue events.
Teams were presented with mock scenarios and had to respond as they would in a real situation while judges assessed their speed and accuracy. The teams compete sequentially and are “locked up” behind the scenes until their turn to compete is up.
While each of our mines have designated first responders in keeping with our safety requirements, many employees, such as those on these teams, train many hours voluntarily to become experts in these areas.
“It’s really strenuous work in what could be a very hazardous environment,” says Tracey Jeffs, Director of Health and Safety. Hugh Ducasse, Vice-President, Health and Safety, Lauren Roberts, Senior Regional Vice-President of the Americas, Jim Fowler, Vice-President, North America, Nick Toney, H&S Director of Americas, and Eric Hill, Vice-President and General Manager of Fort Knox were present at the events.
Kettle River-Buckhorn is a member of Central Mine Rescue, a mine rescue organization which shares mine rescue resources in the event of an emergency at one of the member mine sites.
Millwright Cameron Patrick of Kettle River-Buckhorn’s Rope Rescue team
Kettle River-Buckhorn’s First Aid team
Fort Knox’s First Aid team