Nine co-captains from the emergency response team (ERT) at Barrick's Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic are now certified industrial firefighters, after completing an intensive firefighting training course. The certification is endorsed by Texas A&M University, which is well-known for its programs in emergency response.
"We’ve raised our firefighting skills from basic to advanced."
The training was based on the National Fire Protection Agency 1001 standard, consisting of about 160 hours of practical and theoretical work. Focus areas included fire behavior, water supply, ventilation, and search and rescue.
"Thanks to this training, we’ve raised our firefighting skills from basic to advanced, and it has elevated the knowledge and abilities of our voluntary emergency response teams in Pueblo Viejo," says Ariel Ramirez, General Supervisor of Safety Operations at Pueblo Viejo.
"One of our priorities for 2016 is to reduce our response time and raise the level of preparedness of our firefighters. I’d like to thank the management team and the supervisors of each department for their support to the volunteer ERT program."
Barrick maintains a high degree of emergency preparedness at all of our operations, with appropriate plans, resources, and training to minimize the impact on workers, families, the community, and operations, should an emergency occur.
Our emergency response teams are the first responders to any mine emergency. They are recognized experts in first aid, firefighting, dealing with hazardous chemicals, and emergency rescues. To support their training, our teams regularly compete in various mine rescue competitions with other mining companies.