Lead rescue team

This unit covers leading of rescue teams in underground metalliferous mining operations. It includes: preparing for rescue operation; briefing team members; reporting to and liaising with Incident Control; leading and monitoring the rescue team; and completing team operations.


This unit is appropriate for those working in a supervisory or technical specialist roles, within:

Metalliferous mining


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare for rescue operation

1.1. Access, interpret and apply compliance documentation relevant to the underground metalliferous mine rescue

1.2. Obtain and verify information about the rescue operation

1.3. Obtain mine plan and determine route of travel and mark on mine plan

1.4. Develop, or agree with Incident Control, the strategy search patterns and contingency plans for the rescue operation

1.5. Implement communication system and equipment

1.6. Assess team members' competence to meet the rescue situation and task requirements and constitute team

1.7. Allocate team roles to best utilise individual team member competence

1.8. Identify, test and allocate rescue and safety equipment and materials to team members

1.9. Determine and ensure availability of any ancillary equipment required with Incident Control and/or mining personnel

2. Brief team members

2.1. Provide information to team members on their roles, tasks and responsibilities to allow effective, safe rescue operation

2.2. Ascertain team members understanding of their roles, tasks and responsibilities

3. Report to and liaise with Incident Control

3.1. Observe reporting formats and protocols

3.2. Confirm rescue strategies with Incident Control

3.3. Receive and follow operational advice from Incident Control

3.4. Relay information to Incident Control which can affect team operations or safety to team members

3.5. Complete records required in accordance with legislative requirements or site requirements

4. Lead and monitor rescue team

4.1. Carry out recommended procedures for entering hazardous or irrespirable atmospheres and situations

4.2. Continually assess environment, tasks and hazards associated with rescue team's safety, and apply judgements to ensure tasks and procedures are carried out within rescue team's ability

4.3. Continuously assess hazards and implement controls to minimise risk

4.4. Monitor team member's physical and emotional condition and take appropriate action to address any problems

4.5. Provide information to team members about changes which can affect their operations or safety

4.6. Ensure team adheres to team rescue procedures according to standard rescue guidelines

4.7. Implement coaching processes within the team and identify further assistance

5. Complete team operation

5.1. Provide verbal report to Incident Control to advise of status of operation and significant variations to expected conditions

5.2. Formally de-brief team to obtain and collate incident and procedural information

5.3. Provide comprehensive oral and written report on team's deployment and consequential outcomes to Incident Control

5.4. Report on significant physical or emotional condition of team members

5.5. Offer team members critical incident stress debriefing and counselling in an appropriate environment

Required Skills

Required skills

Specific skills are required to achieve the performance criteria in this unit, particularly for the application in the various circumstances in which this unit may be applied. This includes the ability to carry out the following as required to lead rescue teams:

apply legislative, organisation and site requirements and procedures

apply leadership skills

work with teams

assess a situation and make effective, safe decisions

apply basic life support

apply procedures to establish search patterns and mark routes

apply risk assessments processes

apply contingency measures with breathing apparatus in emergency situations

select and use personal protection equipment

operate in escape apparatus

read and interpret mine plans and symbols

take air measurement and ventilation readings

take temperature and relative humidity measures

interpret and use signals

access, interpret and apply technical and safety information

apply diagnostic/faultfinding techniques

apply isolation procedures

Required knowledge

Specific knowledge is required to achieve the performance criteria of this unit, particularly its application in a variety of circumstances in which the unit may be used. This includes knowledge of the following, as required to lead rescue teams:

principles of leadership

counselling techniques

rescue guidelines

reporting and recording methods and protocols

entrapment procedures

mining methods and environment

transport systems

ignition sources

gas testing and monitoring instruments - types, limitations, function and operation

types of fire and fire control methods

call-out procedures

rescue team procedures and equipment

standby / emergency procedures

effects on people working in hot and humid atmospheres

air measurement and ventilation systems

atmospheric monitoring and ventilation systems

types of breathing apparatus: their construction, operating principles and limitations

factors affecting oxygen/air consumption

techniques for resuscitation in irrespirable atmospheres

fresh air base procedures and communications

structure, role and responsibilities of Incident Control

critical incident stress debriefing

hazardous substances: their effects and controls

extrication methods

risk management procedures

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to worksite operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit and include evidence of the following:

knowledge of the requirements, procedures and instructions for the leading of rescue teams in underground metalliferous mines

implementation of appropriate procedures and techniques for the safe, effective and efficient leading of rescue teams in underground metalliferous mines

working with others to plan, prepare and conduct underground metalliferous mining rescue procedures

provision of clear and timely instruction and supervision by the individual of those involved in underground metalliferous mining rescue

evidence of the consistent successful leadership of underground metalliferous mining rescue procedures

Context of and specific resources for assessment

This unit must be assessed in the context of the work environment. Where personal safety or environmental damage are limiting factors, assessment may occur in a simulated environment provided it is realistic and sufficiently rigorous to cover all aspects of workplace performance, including task skills, task management skills, contingency management skills and job role environment skills.

The assessment environment should not disadvantage the participant. For example, language, literacy and numeracy demands of assessment should not be greater than those required on the job.

Customisation of assessment and delivery environment to sensitively accommodate cultural diversity.

Aboriginal people and other people from a non English speaking background may have second language issues.

Assessment of this competency requires typical resources normally used in the work environment. Selection and use of resources for particular worksites may differ due to site circumstances.

Where applicable, physical resources should include equipment modified for people with disabilities.

Access must be provided to appropriate learning and/or assessment support when required.

Method of assessment

This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency. The assessment strategy for this unit must verify required knowledge and skill and practical application using more than one of the following assessment methods:

written and/or oral assessment of the candidate's required knowledge

observed, documented and/or first hand testimonial evidence of the candidate's:

implementation of appropriate procedures and techniques for the safe, effective and efficient achievement of the required outcomes

consistently achieving the required outcomes

first hand testimonial evidence of the candidate's:

working with others to plan, prepare and conduct underground metalliferous mining rescue procedures

provision of clear and timely instruction and supervision by the individual of those underground metalliferous mining rescue procedures

Guidance information for assessment

Consult the SkillsDMC User Guide for further information on assessment including access and equity issues.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Relevant compliance documentation

may include:

legislative, organisation and site requirements and procedures

manufacturer's guidelines and specifications

Australian standards

code of practice

Employment and workplace relations legislation

Equal Employment Opportunity and Disability Discrimination legislation

Information may include:



team names

suit/set identification numbers

route of travel

expected time of return

Incident Control:

has overall planning, approval and control of an incident

Communications may include:


2-way radio


mobile phone

hand signals


light signals

Teams may comprise two or more members, depending on such factors as:

respiratory protection


Team roles may include:

rescue team leader

deputy rescue team leader

rescue team member

Equipment is:

the equipment specified in the mine's rescue guidelines and protocols

Operational advice may include:



notification to active team

notification to surface

Irrespirable atmosphere is considered as an atmosphere which is unsafe for a person to breathe as a result of either oxygen depletion or the presence of:

toxic fumes



Physical condition may be affected by:

heat exhaustion


injuries from slipping / tripping / falls

respiratory problems

physical exhaustion



Emotional condition may be affected by:






Reports may be:

written or oral


Emergency Response and Rescue

Competency Field

Refer to Unit Sector(s).


Not applicable.

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor.