We spoke to Luke Slater, Corporate Protection’s SESO (Security Emergency Services Officer) Supervisor at Carmichael mine where we provide a range of services to understand our operations at this critical site.

How long have we been operating at Carmichael?

We have been operating just over 2.5 years with the current operational model, but we go back a long way at this site.

What is our role?

We provide medical, security and fire & rescue services.

We also have additional security officers as we confront IMGs (Issue Motivated Groups) in our role.

How many CPA staff work there?

At any time, we have paramedics at 2 different locations, 8 X SESOs (4 X 24/7 including the Supervisor). Security numbers vary, currently we have 5 security guards daily across 2 locations.

What qualifications are required?

Paramedic qualification, Security and Emergency Services, many of our staff have both security and fire & rescue qualifications. There is quite an extensive list of qualifications required on this site, for example, some of our team work on the rail alignment so they need SARC (Safel

y Access a Rail Corridor) which is an uncommon qualification at CPA.

Other examples would be first aid, D&A, RSA, White card etc.

What are the challenges for our staff?

Protestors present a unique challenge.

Also, the mine is still in its infancy, when I started, they had not yet hit coal. Procedures are evolving as the mine grows and we have input in the development of the procedures.

The CPA structure continues to change as the mine changes.

What are the challenges for the manager on this service?

You need to be adaptable as taskings change. We work closely with the client. We are very remote, often we must call in additional resources such as RACQ helicopter.

What do you see as our major achievements in recent times?

We have just extended our contract. We have a good relationship with our client and the client workforce. Growing the confidence among our peers through onsite emergency training.

How do you see the future?

We have signed for another couple of years. We see our workforce continuing to grow as the mine continues to expand. The site has excellent equipment, and the workforce are very facilitating in the access to equipment and plant for training purposes, so we have an opportunity to upskill and train. Examples are simulated scenarios such as working with a zip line on a digger, ladder slides and patient extractions from heavy machinery and we can prepare for any situation.

The mine continues to grow so there may be additional services to provide to the client.

I spoke to our team, and they mentioned the camp and accommodation which are developing, majorly improved over the years. We also have 2 golf simulators here! Plenty of opportunities to exercise across two gyms.

We have a great team; we are all away from home for a couple of weeks, so having a, as to say a work family here, makes our time away more enjoyable. Robert Brady has been a bit of a role model for me as a supervisor onsite and the ongoing support from Kevin Waterman and Max Walker in relation to operations has been second to none.