Free family-friendly event to provide public with rare glimpse of extraordinary emergency service volunteers and equipment

The public has an extraordinary opportunity next weekend to get up close and witness some of the incredible skills tens of thousands of mining emergency response and bushfire volunteers around the world are called on to use every day.

The 9th annual Mining Emergency Response Competition (MERC) will be held at Langley Park in Perth from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th of November 2019.

More than 20 teams from across WA (and one from Indonesia) will have their skills tested as they respond with the latest emergency vehicles and equipment to simulated emergency scenarios – complete with real flames, obstacles and “casualties”.

MERC co-founder and committee member Jen Pearce said the free public event provides rare opportunities for both the participants and spectators.

“Holding the event on Langley Park not only delivers strong professional development opportunities for the competing teams but also gives the public an exciting glimpse of some of the dangerous and skilful work undertaken in regional areas,” Ms Pearce said.

“From Friday afternoon, MERC teams will respond to seven realistic scenarios designed to test skills including: first aid, hazardous materials, confided space rescue, vertical rescue, road crash rescue, team readiness and firefighting.”

For the first time this year, the MERC has partnered with the peak body for WA’s 20,000+ Bushfire Volunteers who will simultaneously run the Bushfire Games on the symmetrical event field, specially designed to provide audiences with the best views of the events and access to the free family-friendly activities and food stalls.

Bushfire Volunteers’ President Dave Gossage said his organisation was delighted with the memorandum of understanding it has signed to collaborate with the MERC.

“We’ve never had the resources to deliver such a valuable event,” Mr Gossage said.

“Our partnership with the MERC will ensure the Bushfire Games grows to deliver unprecedented recognition, promotion and professional development opportunities for our members – WA’s amazing 20,000+ registered Bush Fire Volunteers.”

Ms Pearce concluded, “We are very excited about our new partnership with Bushfire Volunteers and know the business people and families who visit this wonderful free public event will be thrilled with the outcome.”