Edition 12, June 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...

Following on from the QMRS strategic planning session held in February this year a restructuring of operational portfolios has taken place for QMRS over the second quarter. This has been necessary to allow focus and consolidation of related areas to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery by QMRS in this challenging current mining environment.
MEMS and MRAS implementation have been brought together with Operations Response management to further integrate these into the mines rescue capability of the industry. Underground recruit training has been separated from Surface Mine and First Response training to maintain this core business area of QMRS whilst allowing resources to be focused on developing new areas of activity that will provide value to both the underground and surface coal industry.
Inertisation and equipment maintenance have maintained their existing separate portfolio areas.

Building on the partnership with Simtars to provide RTO services QMRS has delivered its first ‘fee for service’ surface Emergency Response and Rescue training during this quarter. In addition training in First Response techniques has continued with some mines. These are exciting developments for QMRS as we are able to utilise our existing skills and resources to grow the services delivered to our Members.
During this quarter the board of QMRS has approved the financial budget for 2016/17. With an ongoing focus on operating cost reduction and capital expenditure reduced to sustaining capital only the QMRS budget has been reduced by a further 14% from the current year and is now 31% less than its peak during 2012/13. Along with the ‘fee for service’ activities now underway this cost reduction has allowed the dollar value of the annual membership levy to be reduced by a further 18.5% from the current year.

It was pleasing to see Cook Colliery repeat their win in the QMRS Memorial Cup held at Newlands in April. Our thanks to Newlands staff for their assistance in hosting a successful competition at the twilight of the mines operation. We now look forward to the EK Healy Cup at Moranbah in July and wish all teams the best.
My thanks to David Watt for all his efforts over the last 3 years in managing our equipment maintenance and all the best in his new roles as a father and with FRSA.
Please read on to gather further information on many of the activities undertaken by QMRS over the last 3 months.

David Carey
Chief Executive Officer

Team Member Representative - Shaun Dando

June is always a significant month for me personally, with June 4th 1998 etched deeply into my mining memory.
At the time I was working at the Mt Davy Project on the West Coast of New Zealand as a Maintenance Coordinator.  We were driving two 1100m access drifts through stone and minor coal seams to reach the main Sub Morgan seam which was a high quality, low sulphur, coking coal seam approximately 5m thick.  A Roadheader and Ramcars were being used in two separate single entry drifts that were force ventilated by fans located on the surface.  This was a relatively small project, with two face crews of 4 men each, plus additional maintenance and project personnel.
In the late afternoon of Friday June 4th we received an alarm on our Tube Bundle gas monitoring system.  The alarm indicated a level of approximately 20% Methane from a tube bundle point in Drift No.2 (measuring return air outbye of the face area).
Initial attempts to reach the face crew via the Dac system were unsuccessful, but then an electrician responded from an outbye Dac.  He was asked to check the face as we had been unable to reach any of the crew.  He responded a short time later with an emergency call that the Roadheader appeared to be buried in coal and there was no sign of anyone.
We initiated our Emergency Procedures which involved a Duty Card system to assist in managing the Incident, and available personnel entered the drift with emergency equipment.
There were several “first responders” who were Mines Rescue trained and these personnel were heavily involved in the attempt to reach the Roadheader operator and Cable hand who had been buried in an Outburst of around 30 tonne of fine coal from a small coal seam that was less than 800 mm thick.
After 30 minutes or so of frantic digging, and multiple communications with the Incident Control Team on the surface, our worst fears were confirmed when we located both of our work mates.
As we communicated our findings to the surface I remember looking outbye and seeing a number of cap lamps and the distinctive reflective overalls of a Mines Rescue team walking in unison down the drift.  Even though I had been a Mines Rescue team member since 1996, I remember the feeling of absolute trust I had in these guys and the confidence they portrayed.
Life can change in an instant, and with no warning.  We must be prepared to respond according to the situation and rely on our training and practice to get us through safely and effectively.  As Mines Rescue team members we can be involved in an emergency situation either as a first responder or in a larger scale incident as part of a team response.
I have learnt a lot since 1998, we made decisions at the time that with the benefit of hindsight, knowledge and experience I would not make today.  We still have plenty of room for improvement with the systems we have at our mines and with what we have developed at QMRS.
The integration of First Response and Mines Rescue procedures and processes especially where irrespirable or flammable atmospheres are involved is still a work in progress.  We need to work together as an industry to get these processes right so that rescuers are not placed at an unacceptable level of risk, and that we have a consistent approach across our mine sites.
I encourage all of us to continue to not only refresh, but improve and build on the skills and knowledge that we each have.  Learn from the lessons of the past because many of these have come at a huge personal cost.
Royden Stewart and Shaun (Shotty) Jennings who tragically lost their lives at Mt Davy Mine, NZ on June 4th, 1998.

Note:  Further information on the Mt Davy Mine outbursts can be accessed via an online search.
Yours in Rescue
Shaun Dando

WHS - Steve Dawe

Congratulations and well done to the next generation of recruits who successfully completed the June Recruit course at the Dysart station.  It was the first full UG Recruit course we have run using the new Learning Management System (LMS).   For those in the know this means a paperless fully integrated course.  All things even the course ran without any major bugs, which is a credit to the IT department.  This group of recruits experienced some really challenging days including a solid introduction to the fire gallery thanks to Woody and Garrett.  A special mention and thank-you must go to the training staff for their assistance with the recruits during the course.

The health and safety at QMRS continues to improve with a shift in focus to our health over recent months.  One of our health and safety representatives recently attended a workshop exploring the link between mental and physical health and well-being.  I’m a huge supporter of mental health initiatives and will continue to push this focus with the staff and you as team members to help raise the profile.  In particular depression affects a much larger portion of our industry than we sometimes like to admit but by just having that discussion around the crib table we can begin to break down some of the stigma around how depression is perceived.  I challenge you to have that conversation with a mate or amongst your crew as I know that this can make a difference for some.

The staff here are adapting well and beginning to navigate and utilise the safety management system (SMS) here with much more confidence.  We’ve recently completed another round of risk assessments which only serves to strengthen our SMS with a good cross section of staff contributing.

I’ve recently been handed responsibility of the UG training portfolio and am looking forward to working more closely with the trainers and team members to continually improve the training QMRS offers.  The day release training continues to improve with round 3 concluding this month, thanks to Grasstree mine for hosting the round.  The turning point (Clicker) system is receiving excellent feedback from the team members and will continue to be used whilst on site and at the station.  Round 4 training is scheduled for Carborough Downs for the Northern end whilst Blackwater station will host the round for the Southern end of the basin. 

In order to improve the training we deliver to you the training evaluation forms have been given a birthday and completed forms from each individual will be collated and analysed at the end of each round.  These forms play an important role for us in order to continually improve the level of training you as team members receive.  These are handed out at the conclusion of every training session and your opinions are valued and welcome so please take the time to constructively feedback to us about your mines rescue training experience. 

It’s been great to catch up with and see a few of the comp teams training over recent months.  Well done to those that made it through the QMRS Cup and I’m looking forward to seeing how you all prepare in the lead up to the EK Healy and perform on the day.  Good luck and all the best!

Yours in Health, Safety and Training

Training - Mark Freeman

Open Cut Emergency Response Training
The first 4 modules of the Emergence Response Team Certificate III were conducted at the Blackwater QMRS Station in June with 6 team members from Yarrabee Mine.  These modules which include Firefighting, Breathing Apparatus and Pump Operation as the main competencies, allow the team members to now form part of the site ERT and they will continue to train to complete the rest of the modules in the Certificate III.  Many thanks goes to Julia Ahu of Yarrabee Mine for her assistance in the allowing the team to access the site training grounds for some response exercises as part of the practical assessment for the course modules.

The next modules are scheduled for the following dates and positions are still available on the courses.  All modules are being held at the Blackwater Mines Rescue Station.

Block 2, Hazmat and Confined Space: 4th – 7th of August or
11th – 14th of August
  • PUAFIR316  Identify, detect and monitor hazardous material at an incident
  • PUAFIR320  Render hazardous materials incidents safe
  • PUASAR025A  Undertake confined space rescue 
Block 3, Vertical Rescue: 6th – 10th of October or 13th -17th of October
  • PUASAR032A  Undertake vertical rescue
Block 4,  Vehicle Rescue: 1st – 5th of December or 8th – 12th of December
  • PUASAR024A  Undertake road crash rescue  
May and June have also seen the QMRS instructors conducting emergency response competency maintenance training for Oaky Creek Surface Operations ERT and Kestrel Preparation Plant ERT on site and at the Blackwater Station.  They have been focusing this round on the core skills of Vertical Rescue, Confined Space Rescue and Air Bar Operation.
Any information or questions regarding emergency response training direct all enquiries to Mark Freeman 0419 791 601 or the Blackwater Station on 07 4982 5369.
Mine Emergency Management System Training
The May MEMS course was well received by a class of 12 held at the Windmill Motel in Mackay. MEMS course dates for the remainder of 2016 are as follows:

September 12th - 16th
November 14th - 18th

Please direct all enquiries to Carolyn Webster on 07 4958 2244.

GAG - Clive Hanrahan

The long awaited replacement afterburner assembly for GAG 1 has finally arrived.  It has been fitted and was tested during May and has proven to be far superior to the older Polish afterburner.

The assembly consists of improved flame stabiliser rings to give us a much more stable afterburner flame, an improved center fin assembly which will increase flame rotation for better oxygen reduction and a new fuel ring with "off the shelf" nozzles and jets, (plus a few other features which shall remain a QMRS secret for now).  The afterburners are now completely or partly interchangeable between GAG 1 and 2 which is a huge advantage in times of breakdowns.  The Inconel steel was imported from the U.S.A and construction of the assembly was carried out in Mackay.

The GAG Introduction training film is now complete and we aim to deliver the finished product during July.  It is a 10 minute film with animation explaining how the GAG works and how we can use it.  It will be a great tool for us to show people exactly what we do.
The long awaited afterburner assembly for GAG 1
Education Manager - Paul McCarthy

An inertisation team GAG unit control panel operator training program has been written in collaboration with Clive Hanrahan and Brent Stewart.  The course is compliant with PMAOP305B: Operate process control system. 
The training is to be delivered through the QMRS Learning Management System (LMS).  Course training materials are available on the LMS, and the theory (knowledge) assessments have been structured so that they can be completed on the QMRS tablets at the GAG training facility.

The new training module is a stand-alone course that complements the two-week block release Inertisation Team Recruit training program that provides training for the GAG unit water supply operators, fuel supply operators and engine attendants.  Applicants to the control panel operator course must have completed the recruit training program to ensure that they have a comprehensive grounding in the operation of the GAG engine and ancillary equipment.

The control panel operator is responsible for starting and stopping the GAG engine, monitoring the performance of the GAG unit while it is operating, and managing the composition of the inert gas product during inertisation operations.  These activities require close cooperation with the engine attendants and Site Controller to ensure that the unit is operated safely and within tolerance limits while it is inertising the mine.    
The new course can be delivered as a stand-alone training program, or can be integrated within the block release recruit course.  In common with the rest of the inertisation team training program, the control panel operator course will be a delivered so that the trainee gains a sound technical knowledge of the GAG unit control operations, combined with a strong emphasis on practical skills development. 

The course outcome will provide the trainee with the tools to react to emergency situations and ensure that the GAG unit runs smoothly and to specifications.

Operations Manager - Ray Smith

Another successful MEMS course was held in May with people attending from Cook Colliery, Oaky No 1, Grasstree and Kestrel mines.  The next scheduled MEMS course is 12th - 16th September, 2016.
Sentis facilitated the Day 1 exercise of the explosive tent pole
April 28th saw the first of the Mines Rescue competitions for 2016, the QMRS Cup held at Newlands North Mine.  Congratulations to Cook Colliery for once again taking the honors with Oaky North coming in second, Grosvenor in third and Grasstree Mine fourth.  Grosvenor Mine also won the George Carbine Shield, (Excellence in First Aid).  Good luck to all teams next month in July at the EK Healy, (held at Moranbah North Mine in the 28th July) when they take on Broadmeadow Mine, Oaky No 1, Kestrel and Moranbah North Mines.

Task Group 4 presented papers at the recent AUSIMM session on the 18th May.  QMRS presented Emergency Winder and Microseismic (Trapped Miner) with some excellent discussion and feedback gained. 
George Carbine set the bar high when performing any task requiring help for the human race. He would never let a chance go by when seeing a need. It didn't matter the colour of skin, your politics or religion neither rich nor poor. If you needed help he was willing to give it without any expectation of return.
As a young man in Ipswich after completing his carpentry apprenticeship and experiencing a downturn in the building industry, he went to work with his father Athol Carbine at Westfalen Collieries in 1976. He became a union delegate as was his dad and worked side by side with miners who had each other's backs and developed a tightly knitted brotherhood with his co-workers. George went on to work at Rhonda Collieries and Haenke mine as well. Never one to shirk responsibility George joined the Mines Rescue team while working in the Ipswich mines. The first aid experience here developed further and eventually George went to work for the Ipswich Ambulance.

In 1989 George moved to Middlemount to fill the position of Emergency Service Officer for Capcoal and continued his interest in community assistance. He was a volunteer member of the SES and continued as an honorary ambulance officer as well as being a mines rescue member.

During the years of 1989 and 1994 George managed award winning teams throughout the mines rescue competitions. Upon his death in 1994 the inaugural George Carbine Cup was initiated in honour of his lifelong service to the industry.
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Queensland Mines Rescue Service Limited · 49 Garnham Drive · PO Box 156 · Dysart, Qld 4745 · Australia

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