CFA crews take part in the Victorian Mine Rescue Competition
CFA’s Oscar 1 took out the Overall Safety and Fire Exercise awards at the 30th Victorian Mine Rescue Competition (VMRC) in Stawell at the weekend.
VMRC is an annual safety training exercise, which pits mine rescue and emergency response teams from Victoria and New South Wales against each other in a series of simulated emergency situations.
Organised by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), it also provides an event for mine rescue teams and emergency services to share knowledge and experience.
James Sorahan, Executive Director of the MCA (Victorian branch), said teams were tested across six different scenarios, including road crash rescue, rope rescue and search and rescue underground.
“One of the special parts about the competition is that we do have several scenarios at an operating mine site and underground. Lots of teams say it’s the best training they get all year,” he said.
Oscar 1 is a volunteer technical rescue team with underground mine and tunnel rescue capability.
Making his fourth appearance in the competition, Trent Dempster was CFA’s Oscar 1 team captain for the weekend.
“For us it’s the closest thing to real-life training you can possibly get,” he said.
Mr Dempster said the team, made up of seven members, was ecstatic to finally take out the fire safety award.
“The fire award is one that we chase. We get told we should win it every year and we don’t. This year we came out on top, which is fantastic,” he said.
Agnico Eagle’s Fosterville Gold Mine won best overall at the event, followed by Mandalay’s Costerfield Operations in second place and CSA Cobar in third. CFA’s Oscar 1 came in fourth.
CFA Oscar 1 Captain Daniel McMahon said he was proud to have the team compete, they showed tremendous dedication and teamwork.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported Oscar 1 and congratulations to the team on their excellent performance.”
CFA’s Stawell Fire Brigade assisted by setting up a car fire scenario and also took the opportunity to set up the community engagement van at North Park for the duration of the competition. District 16 also provided a new heavy tanker to display over the weekend.