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Fort Knox Gold Mine employees receive fire training in Fairbanks

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 4:44 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Employees from the Kinross Fort Knox Gold Mine are at the Fairbanks Fire Training Center as part of an emergency response class. The employees are members of the volunteer Emergency Response Team (ERT) at the mine.

“33 members that have a regular day job, but they will get pulled from that to help assist during that emergency,” said health and safety supervisor Clark Hansen. “They could be a haul truck driver or a mechanic, and then they are going to respond to that scenario or that emergency.”

One of Hansen’s jobs is to manage the ERT. He explained they want to ensure they can respond to any emergencies at the mine, saying, “It could be a fire, it could be a medical, it could be really anything that we have to respond to.”

One of the people training is Justin Cabe. He works in procurement at the mine but has worked on the ERT for around two years.

Cabe said he appreciates the chance. “Besides wanting to be able to be prepared on the job site and help my fellow coworkers, it’s awesome information to know. It is something that Fort Knox is kind enough to provide for us, and it is something that we can take outside of work also.”

Hansen says the mine is like a small town, and so it makes sense that they would have medical and fire services. “We usually have between 600-700 employees at a time and we are pretty remote. We are about 35 minutes north of town, so the response time is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.”

Hansen says that the mine has members of the ERT working on each crew to ensure they are always prepared for an emergency.

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