Edition 11, March 2016
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Queensland Mines Rescue Service


Head Office 

49 Garnham Drive 

Dysart Q 4745 


PO BOX 156 

Dysart Q 4745 

Ph: 07 4958 2244 

Fax: 07 4958 2740 

Leading Rescue 24/7...

Welcome to another year of mines rescue activity. As we continue to take the steps necessary to implement our accredited underground recruit course we also look to how we can change and improve the services offered by QMRS.

Service to the mining industry is the role of mines rescue and where QMRS can add value we need to adapt to meet such opportunity.  We are adding to our training capabilities in both open cut and underground mining whilst improving our traditional areas of activity.

Please see below the stories of recent activity and the changes that are in development.

David Carey
Chief Executive Officer

Team Member Representative - Shaun Dando

Firstly, a warm welcome to the new team members that have joined Queensland Mines Rescue in recent months.  I was fortunate to touch base with the recent Blackwater Underground New Recruit course in early March.  It is always satisfying to hear the positive feedback given from new team members with regards to the knowledge and skills they are gaining during these courses.  This is a reflection on not only QMRS as a whole, but also those trainers involved with developing these personnel to be competent Mines Rescue Team Members.  Keep up the good work.

With the Oaky Creek Mines returning to train with the Southern MAG zone, I have had the opportunity to train at Blackwater with team members from Cook, Kestrel and Oaky Creek Coal.  It is definitely beneficial when we can have team members from multiple mines training together and learning from each other.  It is also an opportunity to keep ourselves up to date with what is happening at each other's mines.

QMRS Board of Directors commitments have included:

February 2016 - QMRS 2016 - 2020 Strategic Planning Review 
This is an opportunity for the Board of Directors, CEO and QMRS Operations Managers to get together formally on an annual basis.  The aim is to review our strategic plan, discuss progress and priorities with regards to our short and medium term goals as well as consider the relevance of our longer term objectives.

I believe this is an extremely important discussion to undertake to identify what each of us believe are the key priorities and objectives to ensure QMRS continues to "be better than before".  It is critical that we all understand and agree on these to ensure we continue to provide not only a well prepared and resourced mines rescue capability but also a quality service that can meet the changing needs of Queensland's Coal Mining Industry.

QMRS Board of Directors Quarterly Meeting 
The February meeting reviewed the company financial performance year to date against the budget.  Overall the budget and capital expenditure is on track for the financial year with the finances of QMRS in a solid position. 

Task Group 4 Industry Consultation Workshop
A significant number of industry representatives attended a workshop held at QMRS Dysart facilities in early February.  This was an opportunity for the recently reformed Task Group 4 Committee, (a recommendation from the Moura No.2 1994 inquiry) to provide an update on advances in emergency preparedness and rescue and to communicate the  results of recent research projects.  An opportunity was also given for Industry to provide input with regards to the status of existing onsite emergency capabilities and identify areas that are believed to be the highest priority to improving our capability.

Yours in Rescue
Shaun Dando

WHS - Steve Dawe

Welcome to the first of our QMRS News Letter for 2016.  This year we have been off to a flying start with the Health & Safety at QMRS and all the staff have been making a great effort to contribute in a positive manner.  When you next visit one of our sites you will notice the Induction Kiosks have been updated and there are now 2 inductions on offer.  For team members you will still complete the Day Visitor Induction but we have added another induction for our External Trainers that come to site.  Remember to sign in and out.

The health of our employees is of great importance to us and we have implemented an ongoing program for the year to encourage participation in activity based challenges and making healthy nutritional choices so next time you see one of the staff please  make the time for a quick chat to see how they are going.  Any conversation around health & well-being is a good one.

Drug & Alcohol Testing will be occurring this year at the QMRS stations as well.  We have a good selection of staff trained up to challenge test so remember to turn up to training fit for work just like you would on the mine site.

Looking forward to speaking and training with you throughout the year.

Yours in Health & Safety

Training - Mark Freeman

Underground Training
Round 1 of training was completed looking at QMRS policies and procedures as well as the guidelines and team operations.  Round 2 is almost completed in Blackwater and the northern region are training at Grosvenor Mine looking at the operations of the substation and fresh air bases.

The move to the TurningPoint assessment process has been well received with minimal issues.  Many thanks to the trainers and administration staff for streamlining the process.

Welcome to the team Senior Trainer Mike Walker.  Mike comes with a wealth of experience in rescue from Crinum.  He has been part of their successful rescue team for a number of years with success in the underground as well as the metalliferous competitions.  Mike also has experience in opencut operations and has been training team members in open cut emergency response.

Opencut Emergency Response Training
The surface emergency response course material has been completed and is in the process of being put onto the training scope at SIMTARS. We are ready to deliver the course at present and there are a number of courses on offer.  We can also tailor the courses to your operations needs depending on principal hazards.  We are also offering day release training for surface operations and are able to deliver this at either your site or at QMRS stations. Please direct all enquiries to Mark Freeman on 0419 791 601 or Kirsty Evans on 07 4982 5369 for dates and course information.  

Mine Emergency Management System Training

This MEMS course dates for 2016 are as follows:
  • 4th - 8th April
  • 23rd - 27th May
  • 18th - 22nd July
  • 12th - 16th September
  • 14th - 18th November
Please direct all enquiries to Kirsty Evans on 07 4982 5369.

Blackwater Station
The station has been very busy for this first quarter with opencut training bookings rising by 25% as well as 2 rounds of underground training.  On some days there were 3 teams training and using the same facilities.  Thanks to all for their patience and flexibility to ensure the best outcomes for all the team members.

Cook Graduate Program
We have delivered another program for mining engineering graduates this January focusing on practical skills to reinforce the theory that the students receive plus a few extra that will aid them in underground mining operations such as:
  • CABA operations
  • Firefighting
  • Ventilation monitoring
  • Gas detection and interpretation
The course was run for 5 days as part of their larger graduate program being conducted at site.

Underground Recruit Course
it was very pleasing to be part of the latest recruit training for underground rescue team members with a large group of 10 team members completing their training at the Blackwater Station.  The recruits were made up of a diverse group from Newlands, Oaky No 1, Kestrel and Cook.  The overall standard of the class was considered very high and we are looking forward to seeing these team members at day release training and in competitions in the near future.  It must be said that the class did distinguish themselves for their level of commitment and support for the greater team.  Many thanks also to Cook Colliery for allowing us to take this large group to their operation and put them through their paces.

External HR Adviser - Ali Gralow

Work is progressing on the HR Operational Manual, including all of the associated Policies, Procedures, Forms and Templates.

Once all of this documentation is completed and approved, it will then be forwarded to the Document Controller for entry into the DMS.  This Operational Manual will naturally be for use by HR only, however the Policies and Procedures and some of the Forms will also be for general use.

It is a fairly slow process, as much of the documentation has to be developed from scratch and it is important that this meets the needs of QMRS into the future so we need to get it right. 

Until next time - take care, stay safe.

GAG - Clive Hanrahan

The 2016 GAG block release is set to go paperless for the first time. 

With the introduction of our new training package this year, comes the ability to have the resource material, instructors materials and assessments all in electronic form and communicate assessment results directly to the Leaning Management System.

There will no doubt be some learnings in getting the system running efficiently but we are confident in the system.

Numbers are low for the block release with only three prospective new members scheduled to date so it may be necessary to postpone this until later in the year.
Individual laptops provided, set up and ready to go.

War Memorial to the "Tunnellers Friends"

Among the diversity of creatures on the fighting strength of the Australian Army there is none perhaps, so little known as the miner's canary.  The pigeon, homing through the barrage fire, has already made the name in history, but the praises have yet to be sung of the little yellow birds which in the balmy days of trench warfare were daily to be seen doing their bit in the front line.

A canary is about fifteen times more sensitive than a man to poisonous gasses, and hence these birds are used in underground warfare to detect the presence of the deadly carbon monoxide which is met with after mine explosions.  

In the early days of mining at the front, birds were few and far between and our first one long reigned as a popular favourite.  "Dick" joined the company in the summer of 1915 and was installed in a cage over the mess table for he was too precious to be kept permanently in the line.  The mess was both small and crowded and our visitors used to say that if he could stand that atmosphere, he could stand anything.

He drew his weekly ration of birdseed from the Q.M.S and was not above taking his nightly tot of rum with the rest of us.  

His life however, was not all idle luxury for many were the nights on which he was rudely disturbed from his slumbers by being swept off his perch into his battle headquarters, dumped unceremoniously into a sandbag and carried through rain and snow up to his job underground and as often as not, reach the surface again as a limp little form lying at the bottom of the cage.  He never failed us though, and if dick "got the wind up", you could be quite sure it was time to quit.

Once, during strenuous rescue operations, someone accidentally sat on his cage and he arrived home in a handkerchief.  We voted him the D.C.M and decided that it was high time to indent for relief.  Dick however, gave the newcomer such an unmerciful thrashing on the night of his arrival that it survived for only a few hours.  

After seven months continuous work in the Salient, he went with us to the Vimy Ridge and when well on the way to his third chevron, at last came to an untimely end.

A stout little heart, but only one of many that have given their lives for the country of their adoption.

Story from "A Tunnellers War Diary".
The Northern Miner - Charters Towers, Queensland.  January 30, 1919.

Education Manager/RTO - Paul McCarthy

Inertisation Team Recruit Course
The first Inertisation Team Recruit Course aligned to competency units will be delivered over a two week period, starting on 4th April, 2016.  Clive Hanrahan and Brent Stewart were the principal contributors to the course technical content, and the course material was reviewed and improved on by the inertisation team members during 2015.

Competency Units
The course contains 16 competency units, including 4 enterprise units specific to inertisation unit operations.  The rest of the units are currently on the public register within the Health, Public Safety and Resources and Infrastructure Industries Training Packages.  The competency units are listed in the table.

Code Description
HLTAID006 Provide advanced first aid
HLTAID007 Provide advanced resuscitation
PMAOHS211B Prepare equipment for emergency response
PMAOPS305B Operate process control systems
PUAEQU001B Prepare, maintain and test response equipment
PUAFIR207B Operate breathing apparatus open circuit
PUAFIR215 Prevent injury
PUATEA001B Work in a team
RIIERR201D Conduct fire team operations
RIIERR302D Respond to local emergencies and incidents
RIIERR304D Control emergencies and critical situations
RIIRIS301D Apply risk management processes
Enterprise Units (preliminary code number)
UCMINM301A Mobilise and demobilise underground coal mine inertisation unit at incident site
UCMINW302A Operate underground coal mine inertisation unit water system
UCMINF303A Operate underground coal mine inertisation unit fuel system
UCMINJ304A Operate underground coal mine inertisation unit jet engine

Training Program Accreditation Process
A formal application will be made to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to accredit the training program and include it on the national registry of courses.  When the training program has been registered by ASQA, the QMRS training staff assigned to deliver the course will be passed through an RPL process to include the course competency units in their credentials.   This will enable Simtars RTO to include the course units on their scope and issue Statements of Attainment to course participants who complete the new course.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Current inertisation team members will undergo an RPL assessment to ensure that their knowledge and skills are formally recognised, and to identify any knowledge and skills gaps that they may have.  The RTO will issue Statements of Attainment for the course competency units to the team members who satisfy the course assessment requirements.  Skills and knowledge gap training will be made available for those members requiring updates.

Delivery Format
The course will be delivered electronically, utilising the QMRS Learning Management System connected through tablets and display screens.  The learner resource book will be available on the screens and the theory and practical assessments will be administered by QMRS assessors using the tablets.  Bi-monthly refresher courses will be scheduled to ensure that skills and knowledge are retained.    

Congratulations are due to Clive and Brent for all the work that they have put into the training program.  The course is technically sound and comprehensive; and under their direction the course will be delivered to a high standard.  Most importantly, QMRS should graduate capable inertisation team members, ready to be mobilised as required. 

Operations Manager - Ray Smith

This quarter, QMRS have reviewed all of the 18 Level 1 recommendations pertaining to QMRS, and have audited ourselves against this.  The outcome was excellent with just two actions arising.  These being specific description for Tech Support and two Duty Cards to ensure information is communicated during an incident.  

Competition preparations are well underway with only a handful of weeks before the QMRS Cup being hosted by Glencore at Newlands North Mine.

A recent trip to the USA to present MRAS to MSHA and industry at the SME Conference was undertaken. 

During the visit at MSHA, a variety of information was exchanged.  Ranging from how Mines Rescue is conducted in the States, communications, virtual reality, SCSR testing, refuge alternatives, CryoAir (Liquid Air BA) and Mine Re-entry.
BG4 Virtual Reality

Continuous Miner Virtual Reality
Suits filled to 7L

1000L Dewar of Liquid Air

A visit to Enlow Fork Mine and MTTC to meet with the Mines Rescue Team Members as well as Fire Teams under training.  A couple of team members had been deployed to Loveridge Mine, Que Creek Mine and Upper Big Branch.
Underground Comms WIFI
MTTC Facility
Surface Comms Truck MSHA
Enlow Fork Mine Rescue Trailer
On the 4th February, QMRS hosted the Task Group 4 Industry Consultation with the Department and SIMTARS.  All mines in the Bowen Basin were invited to attend including SSE's, UMM's and Mines Rescue Coordinators.  Topics discussed ranged from Tube Bundle, Microseismics (Trapped Miner) and Emergency Winder to Mines Rescue Vehicle.

Operations Manager - David Watt

The equipment team has continued with a successful year and maintained a fully compliant quota of substations.  The technical officers have started maintaining GAG resources on top of the stations as well.  This year we have scheduled our substations to be completed in the first 2/3rd’s of the month allowing the equipment team to concentrate on GAG, personal development and station maintenance in the latter 3rd.   The fire truck at Blackwater will be online by June with some crafty engineering works by Cameron Smith.

Some changes in the stations will be noticed in coming months with a new quick fill panel being installed at Dysart, better layouts of maintenance areas at both stations and a review of the warehouse contents at Dysart.

The team will continue to improve and develop our management systems so we can ensure we are providing optimal servicing to all our areas of responsibility.
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