On 1st May 2015, the NSW Mines Rescue Challenge commenced at Cobar, after a three year hiatus. RCT was a proud sponsor of the event, and I had the privilege to personally attend.
There were ten teams that took part in simulated, real-life rescue situations; Fire-fighting, road accident rescue, high angle vertical rescue, search & rescue, endurance, and triage.
The idea being to allow the public and families to visit and see what mum and dad do at work. A lot of families came along and the kids got a big kick out of seeing “parents at work”.
It was interesting also from the fact that there were mainly male team members – but one ‘Cadia Mine Pink Team’ who were an all-female team – mixed it with the best of the all-male teams – great to see.
I must admit I had never attended such an event and always felt a bit sceptical of the value. However, after attending this event and watching the team efforts these situations create, I would recommend that if anyone has a chance to attend or watch such events to do so. It certainly high lights to the public the stress that can be placed on the Rescue Team members involved.
This whole event is termed the “Cobar Challenge” and the logic is that it is not a “competition” as such but an opportunity for teams to observe other more experienced teams – how they approach the various staged events and how best to approach some dangerous rescue efforts. We often see various images on TV at times with rescue teams doing stuff on the surface – but doing that underground requires a special approach and some good leadership skills. There were “volunteer patients” for the various events to simulate some very real life-like situations with some professional make-up for injuries as seen in the photos below. Overall, it has been a great weekend and certainly a very interesting one.
There was a special guest speaker – Mike “Bugs” Ogle from “Check-6” out of the US. “Bugs” was a Fighter Pilot for 28 years with the US Air Force, flying F16’s. “Bugs” had some very interesting and graphic video clips of incidents from his military experiences and the American Military in general. But the focus of his presentations was all about what was required in eliminating or minimising “the risk”. It showed that regardless of what Industry you work in, the same awareness and attitude are required to “work safely”. Often it is about quality and attention to detail that makes the difference and leadership of the team.
Overall the event was such a success. The support of the various sponsors was well recognised at the final awards dinner and was well received by all involved.
It was such a great networking opportunity to meet with some of the mines people who I would not normally get to interact with – particularly on the Safety side of the operations.
Thank you RCT for sponsoring such a fantastic event and providing me the opportunity to experience it first-hand.