2019 International Collegiate MERD Competition


Technician Challenge

First Place: South Dakota

Second Place (tie): UBC Women’s

Third Place (three-way tie): UBC Men’s

First Aid Challenge

First Place: UBC Women’s

Second Place: UBC Men’s

Third Place: South Dakota

Field Challenge

First Place: Laurentian University

Second Place: UBC Women’s

Third Place: UBC Men’s

Overall Winners: UBC Women’s

The UBC Mine Rescue team sent two teams to the 2019 International Mine Emergency Response Development (MERD) Competition hosted by the Colorado School of mines. Teams came from all across the United States, Canada, and Germany to compete in this two-day competition.

The competition consisted of three different challenges hosted over two days. These included a triage first aid, technician, and field challenge. Teams were cycled through and marked on their ability to work as a team in stressful and challenging situations.

The first aid challenge had the team entering a darkened rock lab where four patients were scattered about with varying levels of injury. After securing the scene, the captains delegated their members to each patient where members performed first aid such as CPR, tourniquet application to arterial bleeds, and fast packaging to get each patient out and to EMS all within the given 30 minutes.

The technician challenge tested the team members in their knowledge of rescue equipment. The BG4 breathing apparatus and two MX6 Gas Detectors were used, each with multiple problems that two of the team members had to find, fix, and make ready for underground rescue. These “bugs” included blocked or even missing sensors, small holes drilled into tubing, and many missing or broken parts. Teams were given a strict time of 30 minutes to find and fix the equipment. During this time, the other members of the team wrote a written test on general mine rescue knowledge ranging in questions from first aid to hazardous gases, to regulations on mine rescue.

The field challenge consisted of two separate events, one the Incident Command System (ICS) and second the underground obstacle recovery. In the ICS challenge, team members had to control and coordinate the current rescue mission of a team that was completing the underground portion. Team members took control of media releases, logistical planning of EMS, ground support, and facilities, mitigated financial risk to the company, and ensured that all necessary measures were taken such that the rescue mission could be a success. In the underground portion, members donned their BG4 apparatuses and entered the smoked-out Edgar Mine. During the time underground, members had to build seals, erect timber posts, extinguish fires, set up a pump and sump, and explore all areas that were designated to them.

UBC Mine Rescue is so proud of both of the teams that competed! For the first time for not only UBC Mine Rescue, but for Canada, an all-female student basket team came down and won the competition!

The teams could not have done so well without their great coaches Brandon Moe, and Chris Gamble who currently work at the New Afton Mine in Kamloops BC. These two men currently compete with the award-winning New Afton Mine Rescue team. The week leading up to this competition, the two teams headed to Kamloops to complete a challenging week-long competition training that included two days of strict first aid training by Nicole at Newport Structures and many days out in the mock mine running through underground scenarios.