Mine Rescue Team proud of achievement

STAWELL - The Stawell Gold Mines Emergency Response Team was delighted with its efforts in finishing third overall at the twentieth annual Mine Rescue Competition in Bendigo last weekend.

In a close competition, Stawell performed well under the captaincy of Zane Smith to win three sections, before being announced as the third placed team overall.

While it was the 20th anniversary of the Mine Rescue Competition, this year marked the first time the underground and surface competitions had been amalgamated. This meant 12 teams competed for the title this year compared to six or seven in previous years when it was just the underground competition staged at Bendigo.

Judges were so impressed with the leadership shown by Zane Smith in only his second year as captain, that he took out the captain's award. Stawell Gold Mines also claimed victory in the safety and rope disciplines and finished second in skills.

Team Manager, Steve Owen, said the Stawell team had a good cross section of employees at this year's competition, taking three geologists, three miners and one surveyor.

The team had been training since last year's competition, but only really came together as a group to add the finishing touches over the final few days in the lead up to last weekend.

"The guys were really full on during the last week before the competition. They really wanted to do well," Steve Owen said.

"Everyone was very proud of their efforts. We were thrilled to finish third overall."

Mr Owen praised the leadership of Zane Smith and his vice captain Tyson Dickinson and said the team would waste little time preparing for next year's Mine Rescue Competition, which will be held at Yallourn.

Although called on less and less as safety performance improves over time, the Emergency Response Team remains an integral part of the mine's safety management systems.

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