Edition 7, March 2015
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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...

It is a pleasure to say that Quarter 1 of 2015 has slipped by in a flurry of activity both for me and the Service.
Recruit training kicked back in after the Xmas shut with vigour in January, slipped back a little in February and has again taken on momentum in March.  With three Underground Recruit courses completed between Dysart and Blackwater, the constant input has helped maintain active recruit numbers over this financial year.

From a GAG viewpoint, the completion of a recruit course in March helps push volunteer numbers towards our goal of 50 active team members.  The objective here is to be able to simultaneously respond to two events over an extended period of time. Whilst an unlikely scenario, it is a reassuring position to be approaching.
On a personal note, I took particular interest in the GAG recruit course as a participant.  Over the two week period, years of experience and technical information is shared in a close team environment.  This experience will allow me to provide informed support to this section of QMRS.  I can only suggest that a refresher in fitting victaulic couplings for CEO's may save future drenching of the instructor.
Over this quarter I have had the pleasure of visiting 2 underground mines and 4 open cuts in the Bowen Basin to share current developments in QMRS training objectives and to keep myself current with activities within the industry.  There is a great opportunity for mutual benefit as QMRS increases its level of engagement with the open cut sector of the industry.
In the HR space, we have recruited our second technician role to support equipment maintenance.  I wish to welcome Cameron Smith to our team.  On a sadder note, Jason Andrews-Reid left us for apparently greener pastures and whilst we wish him well, we cannot stand still and are actively recruiting for his replacement.
February saw the QMRS Strategy planning session completed in preparation for the 2015/16 year.  Each Operations Manager has defined improvement opportunities within their area of responsibility and presented these to senior management and the board.  This level of focused attention puts the service in a good position to respond to the changing industry with which we work whilst maintaining the quality of the critical response service we provide to the coal industry.
As I opened with, this recent quarter has been a very active and constructive period as we build on past experience and developments.  The knowledge and experience we share with our team members through the work we do provides them with the capabilities and confidence to be ready for the challenges they all too often have to face.  It has been a great start to a challenging year ahead.
David Carey
Chief Executive Officer

Education Manager/RTO - Paul McCarthy

In February 2015, QMRS added a new course to its curriculum.  The new course is a five-day training program called the Underground Coal Mine Engineering Undergraduate Mines Rescue Familiarisation Course.
It was first delivered at the Blackwater Station by Mark Freeman on 2-6 February to six engineering students from the University of Queensland as part of a ten-week mining familiarisation course for engineers hosted at Cook Colliery.  Kirsty Evans helped to design a completely new, more open format for the course materials and produced an attractive training product for the participants.  The familiarisation course is the first QMRS training program aimed specifically at university students, thus the course significantly increases the range of the QMRS curriculum.

      Course Materials and Content

  • Chapter 1: Course Introduction.
  • Chapter 2: Emergency Response and Rescue Process.
  • Chapter 3: Breathing Apparatus Used in Mines Rescue.
  • Chapter 4: Mine Gases and Ventilation.
  • Chapter 5: Fire and Firefighting Operations.
  • Chapter 6: Underground Rescue and Extrication.
  • Chapter 7: Future Developments in Mines Rescue.
The course included a mix of technical material, interspersed with demonstrations of mines rescue equipment and techniques, including the MRAS tool.  Students participated in a practical exercise each day in a simulated mines rescue environment, including a search while wearing CABA, gas monitoring using the XAM 7000 instrument, airbag applications and the use of high expansion foam on a fire in the fire gallery. 
Feedback from the course was very positive.  All participants appreciated getting some in-depth technical information and enjoyed the demonstrations and practical activities.  This is a new type of course and Mark is to be congratulated delivering another well-received course.

Training - Mark Freeman

We are full swing into the year now with Day Release training well into Round 3. CABA is the theme at the moment and we are looking at a return to the cycle of two yearly refreshing of competence now that the RPL process has been completed for the Underground Recruit Course.

To bring everybody up to speed with changes to response equipment, we are looking to change out the MARS units with the CareVent units.  As part of the implementation, I would like to begin the training of our team members in the operation of the units in the next round of training.  The material has been developed already and just needs to be checked against the latest changes to the units.  

The first MEMS course for the year has also been completed in Mackay with 10 participants taking part.  Many thanks to Garrett and Ray for assisting in the major exercise on Thursday.  The next course is scheduled for the end of April with vacancies still available.

After an amazing amount of work from Belinda, Ramsay and the Pertrain troops, we are ready to start uploading the underground training material into the Learning Management System (LMS).  Kirsty will be working with the team to link the present material into the LMS.  This is the first step to moving towards the electronic and “less paper” system.  We are also looking at the use of computers as part of the assessment tools for the team members.  Watch this space!

The QMRS Business Plan Review was very important to us as an organisation to get firm direction in our future focus.  Some of the training priorities are in regard to the surface training package and its implementation.  They are grouped together as follows:
  • Development of a training ground to allow for
    • larger open fires
    • road crash rescue, (open cut)
    • airbag operation
  • Open Cut trainers
    • conduct a gap analysis on present skills
    • use current and specialist trainers to upskill our staff to be able to deliver these competencies
I will be working towards this over the next few months and this will no doubt have an impact on our training workloads, however, as an organisation this is critical to our future development.  It is an exciting time and I am sure we will all benefit in experience and exposure as well as adding another string to our bow.

GAG - Clive Hanrahan

The GAG booster fan has been completed and is ready for testing which will be scheduled for later in the year.  The fan has been a project on the drawing board for a number of years and the idea came about from an ACARP study in 2007.
The booster fan will give us 7kpa back pressure allowing us to achieve 7 cubes/second down a 250mm borehole.  With a higher percentage of 250-500mm boreholes in the industry, we will have a much greater range of options in getting GAG product to where we need it.

We are calling for a volunteer mine to carry out testing, so please contact me for further details.

This years GAG block release was full and ran from the 9th through to the 20th of March giving us our full quota of GAG operators for the time being.

Oaky Creek No 1 and North mines embarked on a project to build the safest GAG docking stations possible and I'm happy to say they have done it.
New docking station at Oaky No 1.
New docking station at Oaky North
The team at Glencore need to be congratulated for their efforts to provide a place of safety for our GAG operators to work in should the need arise for the GAG to be used at these mines.

Our BMA mines are close with Crinum having designed state of the art portal sections and fan arrangements while Broadmeadow is nearing completion of their new docking facility as well.

Cook is nearing completion of their new docking facility and Moranbah North is starting to upgrade theirs.

It has been a great effort by the team at QMRS and the sites Technical Service departments to bring about these improvements and I plan to keep moving forward until we can make all mines as safe as possible for QMRS team members.

Operations Manager - Ray Smith

QMRS Operations Managers helped out recently at Glencore Apprentice week in Emerald.

Apprentices were taken through basic hose drills and a team building exercise that involved relocating of a water filled drum whilst one person was blindfolded.
96 apprentices from Rolleston, Oaky Creek, Newlands, Clermont Coal and Abbott Point where in attendance.
Apprentice Week in Emerald

Testing has finally been completed on the wheeled stretcher.  In the next few weeks all of QMRS rigid stretchers will be bought up to specifications.

Extensive trials including single and dual wheels were conducted at Moranbah North Mine during Round 1.

The MARS is well overdue for replacement and with the CareVent in the final stages of trial the changeover will run smoothly.  

Over the next few rounds of training, team members will be exposed to the CareVent and early in the new financial year, full implementation will follow.
CareVent - MARS replacement

At time printing, QMRS will be able to re-renter a mine or part of a mine easier
with the 
introduction of MineVents EPASS.

Over the course of the year, team members will be introduced to the inflatable stopping through round training and also at Mines Rescue competitions.

MineVents EPASS

Trials have been conducted at Grasstree Mine during February to test Surewave's Trapped Miner Tool.

The surface site selected for placement of the sensor was a location on neighbouring farm land at a distance of approximately 346 m, (approx 316.5 m horizontally and 140 m vertically) from the location of the simulated trapped miner pounding.
Following newsletters will divulge more info from the trial.

Equipment - David Watt

We will have a very busy second quarter for the year as we attempt to complete a full Bodyguard audit/comparison test throughout all substations and continue to roll out maintenance work orders on Hardcat.  This quarter we will aim to go fully live with the PDA’s and as such remove the need for paper based substation monthly reports. A sign has been designed that will provide details of any work conducted, who audited the site, and substation status. On top of this, each Hardcat work order will be sent to the mine co-ordinator in a report for the mine site records.   
Substation signage to be installed
Other work the team will be carrying out will include ongoing training, inductions, and our standard servicing regimes.  We are also in the process of organising BG4 Benchman refresher training for all our training/technical team and Scott CABA/Posicheck training for the technical officers. 

Team Member Representative - Shaun Dando

On behalf of all QMRS team members, welcome to all of those who have joined us as new recruits in both the Underground and Inertisation teams in recent months.

Mines Rescue team members are often called upon to respond to local emergencies at our mine sites or in our communities.  It is at these times that our rescue training and experience can be invaluable.  As Mines Rescue team members, it is our responsibility to ensure we are committed to continually improving our skills and knowledge so we can competently respond to any emergency situation that may occur.

It is most important as team members that we understand  and demonstrate the values of the QMRS as we perform our roles within the mining industry:

Safety -           "No compromise"

Courage -        "To lead and be better than before"

Ethical -           "Always act with high personal standards and integrity"

Mateship -       "Always there when needed"

17/18 February - 2015 - 2016 Strategic planning review and quarterly BOD Meeting Mackay

With David Carey, our new QMRS CEO having been at QMRS for a couple of months now, this years strategic review was a good opportunity to discuss and agree on what we all believe are the priorities for the next couple of years.

Continuous improvement of our core business in providing an effective mines rescue training and response capability to the Underground Coal industry in Queensland, and increasing the services offered to both the opencut and underground sector are all items included in our strategic planning.

Quarterly Board Meeting

The February meeting reviewed the company financial performance year to date against budget.  Overall the budget and capital works programs are on track for the financial year.

Yours in Rescue
Shaun Dando
Mobile:  0427 529 894

External HR Adviser -  Ali Gralow

As mentioned by the CEO, our annual Strategic Review workshop was held in February and the performance goals and targets for all QMRS employees are now being finalised for 2015/16.  The focus of the workshop was on “Teamwork” and the goals for 2015/16 now fall into the categories of Personal, Team and Corporate.  Thank you to all participants, it was great to work with you all once again.

Teamwork is a critical element in relation to our sustainability and growth, because as the old saying goes, there is no “I” in team and:


which supports our objective of defining and achieving “what good looks like within QMRS”.

In the meantime, work has continued on the review of documentation associated with the Safety & Health Management Plan, which is part of the overall QMRS document review process.

New and amended documents are now flowing through to our ‘Gatekeeper’ for insertion into the Document Management System and this is a huge step in the right direction, which will allow for document reviews to occur in accordance with QMRS and legislative protocols, and will also provide some ‘discipline’ into the document management process.  Have fun Belinda!!

The interviews for a new Operations Manager are currently underway, and the year is building momentum for a quick passing, regardless of how much we want to achieve prior to Christmas arriving ‘early’ – AGAIN!!

At least we are all being kept busy – so that leaves little time for us to get into mischief – a good outcome for HR.  Until next edition …….
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