Wesdome Gold Mine Hosts Algoma District’s Mine Rescue Competition

Wesdome Mine Rescue Team. Back row (l-r) – Reed Morin, Vice Captain Joe Grasley, Trainer Duane Roy, Dave Forbes, Andrey Folusewych, Briefing Officer Anthony Roy.
Front row (l-r) – Captain Manny Girard, Technician – Andre Proulx, James Greer, Eric Lajoie.


Wesdome Gold Mine is hosting the Algoma District’s Mine Rescue Competition at the Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre (MMCC) from Wednesday, May 8th – 10th. There are three teams competing, Wesdome Gold Mines, Island Gold Mine, and Hemlo Gold Mine. The competition will test the teams’ knowledge, firefighting skills, first aid response, use of emergency equipment, and their decision-making ability under stress in a simulated underground emergency.


This is part of provincial competitions that are occurring throughout the province this week. This is the 90th anniversary of Ontario Mine Rescue (OMR) which was established in 1929, a year after an underground fire at the Hollinger Mine in Timmins claimed the lives of 39 miners. Since then the OMR has evolved from a fire service to full emergency response service for all underground emergencies. Teams are trained in every possible scenario so that they can respond to any underground emergency, including fires, explosions and falls of ground.


Competitions will also take place in:

Algoma District Michipicoten Memorial CC, Wawa   May 8 & 9 
Kirkland Lake & Timmins districts  Archie Dillon Sportsplex, Timmins  May 8 & 9
 Districts will alternate teams
  Technicians Northern College, Timmins/KL Mine Rescue Station  May 7
Red Lake & Thunder Bay districts Cochenour Arena, Red Lake
          Red Lake teams  May 8
          Thunder Bay teams  May 9
          All Technicians  May 9
Southern District Goderich Memorial Arena, Goderich  May 9
Sudbury & Onaping districts McClelland Community Centre, Copper Cliff
          Onaping teams  May 8
          Sudbury teams  May 9


The winner of each district competition, to be announced May 10th, will compete in the 2019 Provincial Competition, June 4 to 7, at Newmont Goldcorp’s Red Lake Gold Mines in Red Lake.

On Sunday, a sea can container was brought from Hemlo to the MMCC. That sea can holds the materials required to set up the MMCC into an underground mine in which the competing teams will be presented with a critical situation and solve it.

This morning, teams will arrive in Wawa and at 3:30 p.m. they will begin the technician competition.

Thursday is the exciting day. The teams will do the floor competition.  Wesdome will go on floor to compete at 6:30 a.m., Hemlo at 10 a.m. and Island Gold Team at 2 p.m.

Spectators are welcome on Thursday, but all are reminded that this is a competition and that photos MUST NOT be shared until after the 10th. Your sharing of competition photos may give another team an unfair advantage, and not be a true test of their capabilities.

On Friday, the teams will help tear down the competition site and prepare for the dinner where the awards will be presented, and the #1 Team will then compete in the 2019 Provincial Competition to be held June 4th – 7th, at Newmont Goldcorp’s Red Lake Gold Mines in Red Lake.

Brenda Stockton
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