Lake Macquarie History

Newcastle Mines Rescue Station

Located at Argenton but called the Newcastle Mines Rescue Station, this facility serves the region from Newcastle and Lake Macquarie to the Hunter Valley and has provided emergency response to mines and training miners and associated personnel since 1926.

photo: mines rescue station argenton

Mines Rescue Stations began to appear in England in 1903. The first one in Australia opened in Ipswich, Queensland in 1907. Newcastle architects, Pitt & Merewether designed the original station buildings and it was built from Neath bricks. The complex was comprised of an administration block, motor garages, training gallery and eight residences. A rescue response team was permanently housed on-site to provide a 24 hour emergency standby team for many years. In 1984 the buildings were re-constructed and modernised but retained the original façade. The focus of the station has evolved into a world-class mines rescue training facility and provider. Specialist training is available for colliery rescue, first aid, and fire fighting to name a few. There is also an underground mine simulator in which emergencies can be re-created. A virtual reality component was added in 2004 so that occupational health and safety can be improved by the use of virtual reality technology. Miners are able to experience a series of life-like situations that may never be encountered until an emergency happens. There are also many mining related courses available including generic Underground Inductions for Coal Mines.

Reference

1984. Newcastle Mines Rescue Station : booklet to mark the official opening of the restructured Newcastle Mines Rescue Station, Newcastle Mines Rescue Station, Argenton, [N.S.W.]