Mining rescue teams from NSW and Queensland gather at Whitehaven Coal, Narrabri for the 2017 Mining Rescue Championships

Coal mining rescue teams from NSW and Queensland battled it out for the 2017 Mining Rescue Championships on Thursday.

Teams from Tahmoor, Newcastle, Springvale and Hunter Valley mines represented NSW while Queensland was represented by teams from Kestrel, Moranbah North, Broadmeadow and Grosvenor mines.

The teams who had earned their place through state qualifers converged on Whitehaven Coal’s Narrabri North mine to compete in a series of drills and exercises. 

A rescue mining team goes through a vehicle rescue drill.

General Manger of NSW Mines Rescue Matthew Fellowes said the event was a professional stepping stone for the volunteer rescue teams.

“It is a real carer pathway for our future leaders,” Mr Fellowes said.

“Certainly the training they get and the knowledge they get from these events is a wonderful learning platform for them to progress to higher levels within our industry.”

Chief Asssesor of Queensland Mines Rescue Ray Smith said the teams enjoyed the comradery that competition brings.

“I’ve been telling my group that it’s not about the trophy,” Mr Smith said.

“For me it’s about what we can learn from this competition that will improve our individual skills and our team skills.

“Touch wood we will never have to use these skills, but should the day come that we will, we will be confident in what we are doing.”

Coal Services Marketing Manager Belinda Ward said the mine was pleased to be hosting the competition.

“To be hosting this event for the first time is excellent,” Ms Ward said.

“We are investing heavily in the Narrabri mining community, hosting this competition allows Whitehaven to inject some income into the local community by bringing visitors to the community.”

The winning team will be presented with a perpetual trophy at a ceremony at Narrabri RSL on Thursday evening.