Kestrel rescue skills put to test in Poland

RIO Tinto’s Kestrel coal mine rescue team is in the final stages of training before facing off against the world’s best at the International Mines Rescue competition from September 6 to 13 in Poland.
Kestrel rescue skills put to test in Poland Kestrel rescue skills put to test in Poland Kestrel rescue skills put to test in Poland Kestrel rescue skills put to test in Poland Kestrel rescue skills put to test in Poland

Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh with the Kestrel rescue team.

Lou Caruana

The Kestrel team will have its reputation for safety put to the test at the competition after it was the first team to win all three Australian rescue competitions open to Queensland mines in 2012.

Kestrel mine operations GM John Coughlan said: “The Kestrel mines rescue team have prepared well for the world championships and their recent win at the Queensland mines rescue EK Healy Cup event was a good boost in their preparation.

“The team’s tireless commitment to safety has earned them this opportunity and reflects the strong safety culture we have at Kestrel mine. We look forward to seeing the Kestrel mines rescue team represent Australia and compete at the championships knowing they have Kestrel mine and Rio Tinto cheering them on from around the globe.”

Seven workers will compete against teams from all over the world such as Canada, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Vietnam in practical and theoretical mine rescue tests.

Kestrel mines rescue team captain Derrin Powell said: “We are excited to go up against some of the world’s top rescue teams and are taking the time this week to make sure our techniques and knowledge are up to international standards.

“The world championships will be unlike any competition we’ve entered before. We will be making the most of the two days we have in Katowice, in Poland, to familiarise ourselves with the rescue equipment before the draw is announced on September 9.

“The two days of competition will test the key areas of rescue action organisation, emergency medical aid, servicing mine rescue equipment, working with measuring equipment and includes a mines rescue theory test.

“This is an incredible opportunity to learn from best practice in underground mining safety not just from coal mines but from a variety of underground operations. It’s a privilege to have the support of our Kestrel mine colleagues and the encouragement from of the broader Rio Tinto group who have helped us along our campaign to the world championships.”