From the bottom to the top: Windsor's salt mine scores 1st in Ont. rescue competition
Competition started in 1929 after underground fire at a mine in Timmins killed 39 people
Windsor Salt's Ojibway Mine snagged first place in a provincial mine rescue championship, after coming in dead last the previous year.
The rescue team took the top spot at last week's Ontario Mine Rescue Competition in Red Lake, Ontario. Teams were tested on their rescue knowledge and also simulated emergency situations too.
"The conditions that they put these guys through, we call it simulated, but it's as real as it gets."- Giovanni Grande, Health and Safety Manager, Windsor Salt
One of those fake scenarios forced the team to respond to a large excavator that hit a wall, punctured a fuel line, which resulted in a diesel leak. In this scenario, a person was also injured or possibly dead.
"Do they go through what they know to be a dangerous situation to get to someone who is likely not able to be saved, or do they continue to do a recon and look for other issues or other people that they know are missing," said Giovanni Grande, Health and Safety Manager with Windsor Salt's Ojibway Mine.
Those are the types of decisions rescue teams had to make in this competition, and if this were to ever happen in reality.
"What is the most amazing part about this is they do this under stress. The conditions that they put these guys through, we call it simulated, but it's as real as it gets," said Grande.
First female team member
The team of six, which had its first female member this year, wrote a "difficult" exam to even be put on the roster. After last year's loss, the young group set a goal for themselves to do better this time around.
"There's a lot of pride that goes into this and for all the right reasons. These guys represent the best of a larger group," said Grande.
The competition is a way for the people who volunteer to be on the mine rescue team to test and improve skills.
The Ontario Mine Rescue competition started back in 1929 after a a deadly underground fire at a mine in Timmins where 39 miners died.