The Grasstree Mine team prepares for action on the surface and underground in the EK Healy Cup.
The Grasstree Mine team prepares for action on the surface and underground in the EK Healy Cup.

Kestrel grabs the cup in fine show

KESTREL Mine Rescue Team's finely honed safety skills have taken them to another victory in the prestigious EK Healy Cup at Anglo American's Aquila Mine on Friday.

Successful in 2009, Kestrel was up against teams from Crinum, Oaky North, Oaky No. 1, Moranbah North, Broadmeadow, North Goonyella and Grasstree in the Queensland Mines Rescue Service Competition, which throws up a number of surface and underground emergency scenarios to evaluate mine safety, rescue, evacuation and recovery skills.

Kestrel team captain Derrin Powell, who also won the Matt Best Memorial Trophy for Best Captain, said: "This victory is a result of the personal commitment that each of us made to train continuously, leading up to the competition, with the support of CQ Training Services.

"As captain I am really proud of our team's ability to focus and work cohesively with each other to get the job done."

Queensland mines are required to have 5% mines rescue capability for the total workforce so there are people trained in mine-specific emergency response on hand to assist if there is an emergency situation.

"We have more than 430 mines rescue team members across Central Queensland," QMRS chief assessor Ray Smith said.

"Over the past year I've seen 150 new recruits come through mines rescue and it is really pleasing to see so many of them here today.

"When you begin training, you usually start with a coal mine worker who doesn't know too much about underground gases and atmosphere and after three weeks you see their focus really change."

The Kestrel team goes on to the Australian Underground Mines Rescue Competition in October.


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