The Mine Rescue Team from Xstrata Copper Kidd Operations has won the Timmins District Ontario Mine Rescue competition.
The winning team beat out a roster of four teams that included defending 2012 champions Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines, Lake Shore Gold and Dumas mining contractors in the competition that was held this week at the Whitney Arena. The Kirkland Lake district contest was also held in Timmins and it produced a separate winning team.
The winning Xstrata team was captained by Jason Leger and included team members Shawn Rideout, Danny Morin, Ted Hanley, Guy Champagne, Marc Villars and Stewart Labine.
This is the fourth time Xstrata has won the honours since 2007. Xstrata and Goldcorp have been seesawing back and forth with the top honours in recent years.
The annual event is held to let the mine rescuers from local mining companies pit their skills against each other for local bragging rights, and also for the right to represent Timmins at the all Ontario mine rescue competition, which will be held in June in Windsor, Ontario. This will include the district winners from Red Lake, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Marathon, Goderich and Kirkland Lake.
Among other honours won by Xstrata Friday evening was the Best Technician Award which went to Shawn Rideout. The Timmins Mine Rescue Rookie of the Year award went to Xstrata’s Guy Champagne.
Xstrata was also tied with Goldcorp in winning the Joe MacInnis team award for the best scores on the written exam, known as MCQs.
Numerous other awards were presented during the evening, which The Timmins Times will present with follow up photos and more stories.
The Timmins mine rescue teams were trained by mine rescue officers Manny Cabral and Danny Taillefer.
Taillefer, himself a former competitor, commented to the teams Friday night he understood the tension and stress among the teams that win the competition and those that don’t win. He assured the audience that regardless who the winners are “there are no losers in this room tonight.”
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