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Australia to represent in mines rescue competition in Poland

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Two Australian teams are gearing up to compete in the International Mines Rescue Competition in Poland next month.

From September 6-13, the rescue teams from Rio Tinto’s Kestrel Mine rescue team Glencore’s Oakey Creek mine will test their skills against other emergency response and rescue teams from around the world.

The event will be held at the Wilson Shaft, a historic 19th century mine that now operates as an art gallery, and at the Exposilesia exhibition centre.

Each team will be comprised of seven workers who, over two days of competition, will be tested on key areas such as rescue action organisation, emergency medical aid, servicing mine rescue equipment, working with measuring equipment and a mines rescue theory test.

Kestrel Mines rescue team captain Derrin Powell said he and his team mates were very excited to go up against some of the world’s best mines rescue teams, and would be in preparation over the coming week to ensure their skills are up to international standards.

“The world championships will be unlike any competition we’ve entered before,” he said.

“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.”

Powell said the competition would be an incredible opportunity to learn from best practice in underground mining safety for coal mines as well as 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.”

The Kestrel team was invited to compete at the competition as it was the first team to win all three Australian rescue competitions open to Queensland mines in 2012.

Kestrel Mine general manager operations John Coughlan said the Kestrel Mines Rescue team’s 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,” he said.

“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.”

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