Competition of Safety and Skill

Mine rescue competitions are held across the U.S. and Canada in both national and local formats, including some sponsored by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). These contests allow teams to practice and demonstrate skills we all hope will never have to be put into use, but also highlight the talents of the individuals who take part. And some companies, like J.R. Simplot, hold their own company safety competitions to put their skills to the test.

This year, J.R. Simplot held its 11th annual Company Rescue Competition, which brought together teams from Wyoming, California, Utah and Idaho to put training into action. It was the first in-person competition since 2020 and took place over multiple days. Teams competed in various scenarios, such as confined space rescue and medical emergencies, and some teams were comprised of members from different plants who normally wouldn’t work together.

“There’s no situation that these rescue teams can face that they’re not able to deal with in a very efficient and professional manner. These Rescue Teams make all the difference when we need them most,” Smoky Canyon Mine Manager Dan Darlington said of the participants. And Simplot President and CEO Garrett Lofto summarized the event, saying, “The learning is an investment in safety and our people and is incredibly important because it allows our people to respond and reduce the impact of what can be a tragedy. I hope you never have to use this training, but if you do, we know you will be ready because of how seriously you take this.”