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Perilya rescue team claims overall prize

Thursday, 3rd May, 2012

TEAM: (Back from left) Tom Smith, Robert Fazulla (Coach), Daniel Bell, Anthony Guthrie, (Front from left) Nick Pascoe (Vice Captain), Jamie McConnell, George Adams (Captain) and Brenton Oldsen. TEAM: (Back from left) Tom Smith, Robert Fazulla (Coach), Daniel Bell, Anthony Guthrie, (Front from left) Nick Pascoe (Vice Captain), Jamie McConnell, George Adams (Captain) and Brenton Oldsen.

Perilya’s miners can feel safe knowing their mine rescue team is up to scratch after taking out the overall prize in a recent SA Competition.

Seven of Perilya’s Mine Rescue volunteers won the award at the SA Commission of Minerals and Energy competition.

The rescuers travelled to Strathalbyn over the weekend to compete in the nine sections of the competition.

Team coach Robert Fazulla said the team competed in theory, search and rescue, fire rescue, first aid, rope rescue, vehicle extraction, skills, confined space rescue and using breathing apparatus.

“We won the fire rescue section, came equal first in the first aid section, won the skills and confined spaces section and won the overall team award,” Mr Fazulla said.

“There were seven teams in this year’s event and they were predominantly SA teams.”

Mr Fazulla said some of the other teams work as full time rescue teams, so it was good to see the local volunteers win.

“They had a full week of training prior to the competition,” he said.

“We concentrated on the theory and the systems, not doing the hard yards.

“We just worked through scenarios. The last few years we trained for two weeks; so this time it was one week.

“I don’t think they were as burnt out.”

“The boys are over the moon to win,” Mr Fazulla said.

“The competition set up as realist scenarios as they could, gave the guys a short briefing and let them loose.”

Mr Fazulla said if the boys finished early they would watch other teams and pick up on their techniques.

“It is good training for the guys and a different type of training,” he said.

“At the end every one wants to know how you did what and how they did.”

Safety and Training Manager, Peter Lean, said 24 people train once a month as mine rescuers.

Safety and Energy Service superintendent Tony Edwards said the team did “a fantastic job to beat the big boys”.

Mr Edwards said it reassures the miners underground that they are in the best hands if something was to go wrong.

“It is also a big commitment from management (to send the guys away),” Mr Edwards said.

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