Williams Lake City Council approved funding for the City of Williams Lake to act as the host community for the BC Provincial Mine Rescue Competition again next year.
Council approved the amount of up to $10,000 be referred for inclusion in the 2020 budget to host the event, to be held on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Council made the decision during its regular council meeting Tuesday evening.
Mayor Walt Cobb said the 2019 competition held in Williams Lake was very well received by the community. He also noted it is typical for communities to get the competition two or even three years in a row and they’re hopeful that will be the case for Williams Lake.
“It was a great event and brought a lot of people to town,” Cobb said.
Coun. Scott Nelson added the 2019 competition was also a economic generator for the community.
“It filled the community up — 300 to 400 people come plus their spouses,” Nelson said.
In June 2019, miners from across B.C. put their rescue skills to the test in Williams Lake during the 2019 Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition.
Teams were set up at the Stampede Grounds and tested for their knowledge of the Western Canada Mine Rescue Manual in three main categories: three person first aid, surface mine rescue and underground mine rescue.
Mine rescue has existed in B.C. to assist in mine emergencies since 1909.
The BC Provincial Mine Rescue Competition has been held annually since the 1950s to bring together mine rescue teams from across B.C. to test their emergency response and rescue abilities in either surface or underground competitions in a one-day event open to the public.
Under the Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia, all mines are required to provide emergency response capabilities.