The best mine rescuers face off in Val-d'Or

The best mine rescuers face off in Val-d'Or

The best-mining-rescuers s&rsquo ;Fight in Val-d’Or

The best mine rescuers meet in Val-d'Or.

The top six mine rescue teams gathered at the Cité de l'Or in Val-d'Or for their 59th annual provincial competition on Friday and Saturday.

Six teams had qualified for this competition last fall. They are the rescuers of the Raglan, Stornoway, Niobec, Canadian Royalties, Eldorado and Casa Berardi mines. They crossed swords in six events where every minute counts to save lives, as is often the case underground.

We have a first aid workshop, first aid, where we simulate a sort of triage. We did that in the surface buildings. We had an electrical problem in another workshop, a fire problem on the surface with a fire simulator. The rescuers had to establish an intervention protocol to rescue the victims behind the fires, explains Jean Proulx, head of the mine rescue service at the Standards, Equity, Health and Safety Commission at the work (CNESST).

Jean Proulx, head of the mine rescue service at the CNESST, and Martin Gagnon, health and safety prevention director at the Quebec Mining Association.

For the Quebec Mining Association (AMQ), this is an important activity.

In fact, [it allows] to check the skills of the rescuers. This competition also rewards the best who have performed in the past year. It is also a way to exchange between rescuers, to share good practices. It is also a promotional activity to attract new rescuers to the mines, believes Martin Gagnon, health and safety prevention director at the AMQ.

Such a competition therefore makes it possible to measure the knowledge, skill and speed of execution of mine rescuers. In addition, the qualification process and all the preparations for this 59th provincial competition are all opportunities to improve.

“It forces them to be better. They get together, train according to the intervention protocols that we teach and come to show us their know-how. We are in good hands in Quebec with our mine rescuers.

— Jean Proulx, CNESST

Maxime Allard, security and emergency measures supervisor at Canadian Royalties and director of operations for the rescue team.

This is an opinion fully shared by Maxime Allard, safety and emergency measures supervisor as well as director of operations for the Canadian Royalties mine rescue team.

We trained for a week in order to participate in the provincial competition. We had pretty much overhauled everything. We did several scenarios. It is certain that for our team, the rescuers took a step ahead. We are very well prepared in the event of a disaster. It's a good workout. In addition, on the teamwork side, it brings a great bond, says Maxime Allard.

Benjamin Rancourt, member of the mine rescue team at the Casa Berardi mine.

This is also an opinion shared by Benjamin Rancourt, mine rescuer for fifteen years at the Casa Berardi mine, just like his father before him.

“It puts us to the test on everything we've learned. You have to think quickly, react quickly. Sometimes we make good decisions, sometimes bad ones. Of course, we don't want that to happen in real life, but when it does, with events like this, it makes us more ready to intervene, “he argues.


The Casa Berardi Mine Rescue Team quickly evacuates an injured person during the friendly relay race on Saturday.

< p class="e-p">Robert Tanguay, career miner and technical helper for the Raglan mine team, is entering his 29th year as a mine rescuer.

“The purpose of a competition like this, it's all about improving ourselves. All the guys who are here are future team leaders if ever there is an emergency. We must not forget that it is the fun, the competition, but we do this in order to improve ourselves. If there is an intervention in our respective mines, we have people who are qualified, ”he underlines.

A member of the Eldorado mine mine rescue team carries a casualty on his shoulder during the friendly competition on Saturday.

Robert Tanguay also followed in his father's footsteps and, for him, mine rescue is above all a passion.

“C' is above all to have at heart to save your buddies underground. That's the reason we're doing this. I never did this for the money. It's a passion,” he says.

Saturday was more about social activities with the presentation of a friendly relay race and the awards gala prizes.