Lynne Bouchard Thompson didn’t give a second thought to the fact she was the first female captain of a mine rescue team in Ontario at the time. Bouchard Thompson was drawn to mine rescue while working as a planner in engineering at Kirkland Lake Gold’s St. Andrew Goldfields Ltd. She’s now working as a construction supervisor in training.
She was intrigued with the idea of getting involved in mine rescue and attracted to the “extracurricular” aspect of it. She checked around, found out more about it and said to herself: “I want in on this team.”
There are three mine rescue teams at Kirkland Lake Gold, and its members are a tightly knit community, Bouchard Thompson said Friday at the 67th Annual Provincial Mine Rescue Competition at NORCAT Training Centre near Onaping. Her first year at the mining company, she aimed to get on the competitive mine rescue team and she did. The second year she moved up to vice-captain.
By year three, she moved up to team captain at the age of 25. “That’s the year we won the districts and went on to provincials,” she said.
Bouchard Thompson is quietly confident in her leadership ability so she didn’t think too much about being the first woman to compete on a mine rescue team in her district and later to become captain.
The significance sunk in at an event for the mine rescue teams in Timmins district. The wives of the winning team all lined up in a row to shake her hand “and really tell me I was doing something for women and paving a road. It was something. At that point, it sunk in. People had talked about it, but it really sunk in when all those women lined up.”
Being captain of a team is not about giving instruction as much as it is about “taking advice and moving on as a team.”
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