Victorian Mine Rescue Competition
The Victorian Mine Rescue Competition (VMRC) is a mine rescue and emergency response capacity building exercise.
MCA Victoria is proud to host this annual training exercise for mine emergency response teams, and to build knowledge of emergency services agencies around mine rescue capabilities and roles.
VMRC contributes to the minerals industry’s commitment to zero harm and the MCA’s aim to support safe and healthy workplaces.
VMRC sees mine rescue and emergency response teams from mine sites around Victoria and Australia compete against each other in a variety of simulated emergency situations to put their skills to the test, and share their extensive knowledge with each other.
Over the last 30 years, VMRC has hosted teams from across Australia and conducted competitions across Victoria including Latrobe Valley, Wonthaggi, Bendigo and Seymour.
VMRC supports mine rescue teams by providing joint exercises with emergency services agencies to provide training in a challenging but fun environment, increase understanding of the broader emergency response arrangements, build team relationships of trust and respect, and create a forum for ERT teams to meet and learn from each other. That is the spirit of VMRC.
How to participate in 2023?
The Victorian Mine Rescue Competition will be held between 20-22 October 2023 in Stawell.
Team numbers are capped at 10 with preference given to Victorian mines and MCA members.
Any mine ERT team can take part in VMRC and expressions of interest can be directed to the MCA, please email email@example.com.
A competition of this nature is not possible without the support of its sponsors. Interested sponsors can email firstname.lastname@example.org for a sponsorship prospectus.
The MCA acknowledges sponsors in 2022 and highlights the long term involvement of sponsors including Draeger and DSI Underground.
History of VMRC
VMRC started in 1993 at the State Coal Mine Reserve at Wonthaggi with the local Disaster Response organisations holding a rescue exercise in the old mine. Three teams were invited to participate: Stawell Gold Mines and Benambra Mine from Victoria, and Woodlawn Mine from NSW.
From these humble beginnings in Wonthaggi, VMRC has become one of Australia’s leading competitions with teams coming from across the nation each year to test their mine rescue skills.
1994 to 2008
Central Deborah Tourist Gold Mine in Bendigo was the home of the Victorian Underground Mine Rescue Competition from 1994 to 2008. The firefighting exercise was conducted at the CFA Huntly Training Ground. The competition gradually outgrew Central Deborah by 2009.
From the late 1990s there was an increased interest in the Underground Competitions from traditionally Surface operations in the Latrobe Valley and the inaugural Victorian Surface Mine Rescue Competition was held at Yallourn Mine in 2005.
2010 and beyond
From 2012, the underground and surface competitions merged to become the Victorian Mine Rescue Competition.
This combined competition would be held annually with the venue alternating between Bendigo, the traditional home of the underground competition, and the Latrobe Valley, the venue for the surface competitions.
In 2013, the Competition celebrated its 20th Anniversary year publishing a 20 years Commemoration Booklet.
COVID-19 disruptions prevented VMRC from taking place in 2020 and 2021, but the competition returned in 2022 to the Fosterville Gold Mine with eight teams competing and formal roles for Victoria Police and mental health charity MATES in Mining incorporated into the competition to expand the training opportunities provided to teams.
Emergency Management Guidance for Victorian Mines was launched by the MCA at the 2022 VMRC to provide information on requirements for emergency management and the government emergency arrangements.
In 2023 VMRC celebrates 30 years with the competition to be held at Stawell Gold Mine.