All-female crew takes part in challenge

Emergency rescue teams taking part in the PNG Extractive Industries Emergency Response Challenge (EIERC), from October 02nd to the 04th in Madang, will be competing against a well-trained, professional rescue team made up of only females.

Newcrest Mining, the operator of the Lihir gold mine in the New Ireland Province, sent its female team for the second time to this event after they first took part in 2015.

The EIERC, formerly known as the National Mining Emergency Response Challenge, will see a total of nine teams being tested on their emergency response capabilities to be held at the PNG Maritime College.

It is anticipated that more than 200 participants, including senior executives from the resource industry, will be attending the event, which is being organised by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

Chamber executive director, Dr. Albert Mellam, said more women are now being employed by the resource companies as emergency rescue officers and their participation in this event is welcoming.

“Emergency response was once a male-dominated area, but with the support of the various mining and petroleum projects, women are slowly joining that field,” Dr. Mellam said.

“As the event progresses, we anticipate greater female participation so that they can also learn from their peers from other projects and impart the skills they learn from the EIERC back at their respective projects.”     

Teams taking part in this event include Ok Tedi Mining, Porgera Joint Venture, Harmony Gold, Simberi, Oil Search, Ramu and Newcrest Lihir.

The teams will undergo a theory exam on day one, followed by two days of intense competition.

The Challenge will test the teams by putting them through real-life simulation scenarios where they will compete in areas of fire-fighting, rope rescue, multi-casualty, hazmat, endurance and confined space search and rescue.

The Challenge aims to improve the capabilities of the resource industry’s emergency response personnel to respond efficiently and effectively in emergency situations.

The Challenge will also demonstrate to the broader community and Government the industry’s commitment to safety while also providing a platform for benchmarking against industry standards.

This year’s Challenge is being supported by Oil Search Limited, Kumul Petroleum Holdings, International SOS, PNG Mining and Petroleum Hospitality Services Ltd, West Rescue, Fire Rescue Safety Australia and Scott Safety.

(Newcrest Lihir’s all-female emergency rescue team who took part in the Challenge in 2015 in Madang)

Press Release