Response team tackles state titles

Community > 13th October, 2022

​UP FOR THE CHALLENGE: The SIMEC Mining (Whyalla) Emergency Response Team. Back left to right: Brendan Schwenke, Jeff Wood, Phil Cusano and Ben Hussey. Front left to right: Alex Barnes-Tripp (Vice Captain), Ella Blackwell (Captain), Emma Mullenger (Medic).

Thursday 13 October 2022

Tackling the tough tasks at state competition

SIMEC Mining’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) will be heading north this week to tackle the annual South Australian Mines Emergency Response Competition (SAMERC).

The SIMEC Mining team will be led by Luke Frost (team manager) and Ella Blackwell (only the second ever female captain) as it travels to the OZ Minerals Carrapateena site, about 160km north of Port Augusta, to take on other SA teams from mines such as Prominent Hill and Olympic Dam.

To add some interstate spice, there will again be a team from the NSW Cadia Valley Mine coming across to take part in the competition from Friday to Sunday (October 14-16)

The SIMEC Mining team will compete in disciplines such as vertical rope rescue, breathing apparatus search and rescue, confined space rescue, underground search and rescue, industrial rescue, firefighting, first aid, team skills, road crash, hazard materials and emergency response theory.

TEAM WORK: The ERT training in Whyalla .

SIMEC Mining (Whyalla) Manager Healthy and Safety, Steve Player, said the competition was held in high regard in the industry and it heads into its 13th year.

“We will be competing against teams from other mining companies such as BHP and OZ Minerals in a range of disciplines,” Steve said.

“We (SIMEC Mining) are proud to be a premium sponsor of this event that promotes and raises awareness of emergency response and rescue skills.

“Once again we have a fantastic team, led by captain Ella, representing SIMEC Mining and we’re confident they will perform well and do us all proud.”

The SIMEC Mining teams have performed well at past competitions. Last year’s team trophied in first aid and industrial rescue and was runner up in several other events.

The overall competition winner will be presented with the SAMERC Perpetual Trophy with trophies also awarded to the winners of each of the exercises as well as Best Team Captain and a SAMERC Chairman’s Award that is awarded to the team that best demonstrates the values of the SAMERC competition.


  • Learning as the primary objective. Encourgaging SA teams to put forward “green” volunteers with the aim of the competitions being to learn.
  • Provide teams of all skill levels with a realistic and practical test environment for assessment of their capabilities with opportunities to improve.
  • Promote emergency response and rescue within the South Australian resources sector and the community to raise awareness through demonstration.
  • Opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration to harvest ideas and share best practice.
  • Share the benefits of Mutual Aid agreements between sites, networking and relationship building.
  • Strengthen relations between mine sites and emergency service organisations.

REAL LIFE SIMULATIONS: The SIMEC Mining Emergency Response Team goes through its paces during training in Whyalla.

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