27 October 2016

Crisis Scenarios to Test Emergency Response Teams

Crisis Scenarios to Test Emergency Response Teams

For the first time in its history, the annual Tasmanian Minerals Emergency Response Competition (TMERC) will be held at Bell Bay Aluminium this weekend.

Emergency response teams from mine and smelter sites across the state will compete in a range of events involving both theory and simulated emergency situations on Saturday 29 October at the Bell Bay industrial precinct.

Ben Maynard, Chairman of the Tasmanian Minerals Emergency Response Committee said: “Emergency response on mine and mineral processing sites involves volunteer teams of employees who train and prepare for all manner of emergency situations in potentially difficult environments. With a focus on safety in the workplace, this annual competition provides teams with an excellent learning opportunity and a practical way to test their skills in a simulated emergency situation.”

Bell Bay Aluminium’s General Manager, Ray Mostogl said: “We are delighted to host this year’s Emergency Response Competition for a number of reasons; firstly it enables us to showcase the importance of emergency care and response in industries such as ours to our employees and the wider community.

“It also ensures that participating team members are exposed to and practise emergency care and response to the best possible standard. Given each mine and smelter site in the state has their own emergency response teams, there is a mutual aid agreement between these operations that ensures additional skilled assistance can be called upon in the event of an extended emergency. This also benefits the wider community as many team members are also volunteers with the SES,” said Mr Mostogl.

The Australian Maritime College Fire Fighting Centre and TasRail Freight Terminal, both located in the Bell Bay industrial precinct, have partnered with Bell Bay Aluminium and TMERC to host three of the emergency response competition events on Saturday 29 October.

TasRail’s CEO, Damien White said his company’s support for the Emergency Response Competition is a natural extension of the mutually rewarding commercial relationship that already exists between the railway and the Tasmanian Minerals Industry.

“The prevention of incidents and injuries and adoption of best practice safety are values that TasRail has in common with the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council. Investment in training and practical testing of skills is fundamental to the goal of zero harm, and this type of collaboration can only benefit all of the enterprises involved,” said Mr White. 

Anthony Beckett, Vocational and Educational Training Manager at the Australian Maritime College, explained why the College's facility is ideal for hosting the fire-related components of the competition. "The Australian Maritime College has, for many years, worked with industry to develop emergency response team training using its Fire Fighting Training Centre facilities at Bell Bay," said Mr Beckett. "We've invested heavily in the facility so that it supports industry needs for all kinds of emergency training—including but not exclusively maritime—and we are pleased to be able to put the centre's capabilities to good use by supporting the TMERC competition."

2016 Emergency Response Competition events include:

  • First aid (TasRail Freight Terminal)
  • Skills and fire fighting (Australia Maritime College Fire Fighting Centre)
  • Rope rescue, search and rescue and theory (Bell Bay Aluminium)


  • Bell Bay Aluminium Emergency Services
  • Bluestone Mines Rescue
  • Cornwall Coal-Mines Rescue
  • Grange Resources-Blue Sky Miners
  • MMG Rosebery-Mine Rescue Team
  • TMERC-Mutual Aid Composite Team