Despite trying conditions, New Hope Group emergency response teams cleaned up once again last week-end in the Southern Region Mines Rescue Challenge with back-to-back titles.
Despite trying conditions, New Hope Group emergency response teams cleaned up once again last week-end in the Southern Region Mines Rescue Challenge with back-to-back titles. The New Acland Coal (NAC) team, captained by operator Joe Littleton, took the title of best overall team in the annual event, this year held in wet and muddy conditions at Commodore Mine near Millmerran. Joe, who also took out the title of Best Captain, said the team performed well in the less than ideal conditions. "The challenge puts teams through a series of real-life rescue simulations including road crashes, firefighting, search and rescue and multi casualty scenarios," Joe said. "This year's event took on a whole new dimension with the wet conditions, but the team worked together really well and it was an honour to lead them. "While the weather conditions were difficult it just added to the realism of the event, after all, not all emergencies are going to occur on bright sunny days." The third win - that of Best Medic - came from New Hope's Exploration Team. Exploration Operations Superintendent, Wayne Pengelly said this was quite an achievement given the quality and experience of other teams from Commodore, Cameby Downs, Meandu and Kogan Creek mines. "Young Dan Dempsey from our Exploration team, was named best medic of the event. "This is quite an achievement for Dan considering he was up against fully trained, professional ERT medics." "I saw a huge improvement in teamwork, cohesion and leadership compared to previous years. "This can be attributed to the Company's continued focus on safety and training." Wayne says. New Acland Coal's Training and Emergency Response Coordinator and team manager, Grant McDonald was thrilled with the team's performance. Winning back-to-back titles is great and the win also means the team will now go on to compete at the Northern Mines Rescue event in Dysart in November," Grant said. "Next year we hope to be on home turf at the Company's Jeebropilly mine for the 2019 Southern Region challenge so hopefully we can get the three-peat." The winning NAC team were: Joe Littleton (captain), Andrew Koehler, Trevor Anderson, Andrew Barnes (winner of the New Acland Trophy - team member who best displayed New Hope's Core Values), Peter Handley and Phil Garratt.