March/April 2007

Student mine rescue training in Sudbury

By L. Rudd

John Hagan (left) Ontario Mine Rescue 0fficer (instructor) and the new student Mine Rescue recruits Laurentian University School of Engineering

Sponsored by M.A.S.H.A. (The Mines and Aggregates Safety and Health Association of Ontario), 12 mining engineering students from Laurentian University School of Engineering and the University of Toronto Lassonde Institute combined during their "study week" to participate in the annual Ontario Mine Rescue student training course. Students taking this course receive full certification at the basic level of mine rescue. It involves several hours of theory about mine rescue procedures, and safe practice in a mine emergency - especially fire. Coupled with this, they must become fully conversant and expert in servicing and maintaining the Drager BG4 oxygen breathing apparatus.

Once fully conversant with the apparatus, and armed with the knowledge of poisonous and noxious gases as well as rescue procedures, the students are subjected to the very rigorous test of a mock rescue at a mine. They have to locate and rescue a "casualty" trapped in dense smoke, deep in a mine. The students also have to successfully pass a written exam, as is the case with all of Ontario Mine Rescue people. Having volunteered to sacrifice their study week they can proudly sport the hard-won Ontario Mine Rescue decal on their hard hats, and await that full-time job upon graduation, when they can extend their mine rescue training to become full volunteer members of a mine rescue team.

The week in Sudbury was not all work. Through Emily Brisson, customer relations officer for Orica Explosives of Sudbury, the students were treated to a Friday "graduation" lunch plus a Sudbury Wolves hockey game. These young students are to be commended for their volunteer efforts, and it will not be too long before they are making a positive contribution to our industry, as they embark on their professional careers.

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