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Oscar 1 at 2016 Victorian Mine Rescue Competition
Oscar 1 Emergency Response Brigade has finished 2nd in the overall Team Competition at the 2016 Victorian Mine Rescue Competition held in Bendigo between 14-16 October.
Story by Alun Hughson of Oscar 1 Emergency Response Brigade
The Oscar 1 team won the Skills Exercise, placed 2nd in BA Practical and Safety and were 3rd in Firefighting and the Team Challenge. Evolution Mining (Qld) won the overall competition & North Parkes (NSW) finished 3rd.
Eight teams competed; Fosterville Gold, Stawell Gold, Mandalay Resources (Costerfield), CFA Oscar 1, CGT Ballarat, Estate Services Yallourn from Victoria and two interstate teams, Evolution Mining (Qld) and North Parkes (NSW).
Oscar 1 is the only volunteer Mine Rescue Team in Australia. It was set up originally to provide rescue capability in the abandoned Central Victorian Goldfields, and members have willingly trained to achieve the standards needed to compete with the professional mine rescue teams.
A very happy Brigade Captain David Priest was extremely proud of his team’s efforts.
“The competition provides an opportunity for members to validate their skills against their peers in mine rescue, learn new techniques and build the relationships and credibility that is so important in this sort of rescue,” said Captain Priest.
The event was held at CFA Huntly Training Ground on Friday (BA Practical Exercise, Theory exam and Welcome Ceremony) and the Fosterville Gold Mine on Saturday and Sunday (Search & Rescue, Rope Rescue, First Aid, Fire Fighting, Skills and a Team Challenge.
The Fosterville mine is an operational gold mine with 25km of tunnels up to 800m below ground level. The Fire Fighting and Search & Rescue Events were held about 100 meters underground.
The Presentation Dinner held on the Sunday night was attended by EMV Commissioner Craig Lapsley and CFA Deputy Chief Officer (DCO) Bruce Byatt.
Mr Byatt said As DCO it was my pleasure to represent the CEO Frances Diver and Chief Officer Steve Warrington at the recent 24th Annual GasTech Australia – Victorian Mines Rescue Competition in Bendigo on Sunday, and it was clear at the presentation dinner that the competitors from the 8 teams had developed a close rapport with each other over the course of the competition.
“The repeating theme from the teams was the value that is gained from putting the theory into practice and how this builds the technical skills necessary to respond with confidence to emergencies of this kind. Congratulations to all the winners, with a special mention to CFA’s own Oscar 1 at Bendigo for placing Second Overall in the event and also picking up a 1st, 2x2nd and 2x3rd, well done,” said Mr Byatt.