Awards for rescue team and kudos for organising committee
20 October 2023
SIMEC Mining and the South Australian Mines Emergency Response Competition (SAMERC) delivered a ground-breaking emergency rescue event last weekend in Whyalla with more than 5000 people enjoying the spectacle over two days.
The Whyalla-based SIMEC Mining iron ore operation won the hosting rights to the 2023 SAMERC and produced a competition that was highly commended among participants and spectators.
The SAMERC is normally held at remote mine sites but, in a nod to Whyalla and in conjunction with the Whyalla City Council, SIMEC brought the competition into the city with an array of spectacular events and displays. Spectators flocked to the foreshore, marina, jetty and CFS yard to see seven teams compete for honours in the prestigious event.
SAMERC Chairman Les Allen declared it one of the most memorable events in the 14-year history of the SAMERC with a record number of teams competing.
“SIMEC Mining, Whyalla, the Whyalla City Council and all our sponsors helped deliver an amazing competition and one that could change the shape of the event with the fantastic community support and spectator response we experienced,” Mr Allen said.
SIMEC Mining Executive General Manager, Jacqui Higgins paid tribute to the organising committee for an event that delivered on many fronts.
“It was a tremendous couple of days,” Ms Higgins said.
“Thanks to the SAMERC committee for having the foresight and confidence to work with SIMEC Mining and the Whyalla City Council to bring this event to the streets and key sites of this wonderful town.
“From the award-winning jetty, to the foreshore and all the other sites … spectators, sponsors and local businesses all got involved and supported this important event.”
Whyalla Mayor Phill Stone paid tribute to the organisers of the SAMERC and said it proved Whyalla was willing and capable to embrace such events.
“What a great weekend, the organisers and competitors brought so much to our community to make people aware of what goes on in the mines,” Mayor Stone said.
“With the amount of social media posts and pictures I’ve seen going out, it has reaffirmed Whyalla is a city able to host and embrace these types of events.
“It is one of the greatest events I have seen in regard to organisation and I thank the organisers for bringing it to Whyalla.”
To top off the weekend, the SIMEC Mining emergency response team performed magnificently to pick up four awards including the Theory, Fire Fighting, Team Skills and BA (Breathing Apparatus) Search and Rescue trophies.
The BHP Carrapateena team was the outstanding team of the weekend winning First Aid, Confined Space Rescue, Vertical Rescue, Road Crash Rescue, Surface Rescue Trophies and taking out the overall winner’s trophy. So close was the competition, however, Carrapateena took out the overall trophy by the smallest of margins, just 0.65% ahead of SIMEC Mining.
Main picture: The SIMEC Mining ERT and organisers: Emma Mullenger (Team Member), Steve Player, Brendan Schwenke (Team Member), Andrew Gynell (Team Manager), Graeme Nolen (Team Captain). Middle Row: Ella Blackwell, Anika Duffy, Alex Barns-Tripp (Team Member), Michael Dalbosco (Team Member), Jacqui Higgins, Jared Fechner. Front: Kuda Makoni, Mark Bishop, Tom Dunn (Team Member), Ben Rowlands (Team Member).
Theory: SIMEC Mining
Fire Fighting: SIMEC Mining
First Aid: BHP Carrapateena
Confined Space Rescue: BHP Carrapateena
Vertical (ropes) Rescue: BHP Carrapateena
Industrial Rescue: Hillgrove Resources Kanmantoo
Road Crash Rescue: BHP Carrapateena
Surface Rescue: BHP Carrapateena
Team Skills: SIMEC Mining
BA Search and Rescue: SIMEC Mining
Best Captain: Cadia Valley Operations
Chairman’s Award: BHP Prominent Hill
Overall Winner: BHP Carrapateena
Next year’s competition will be held at Roxby Downs with hosts BHP Olympic Dam already declaring it will be taking a leaf out of the Whyalla book to include more community involvement and spectator opportunities.