Training changed worker’s life…and that of those around him

6 December 2017

Victims of a serious road smash outside of Toowoomba can be grateful Dallas Hinrichsen accepted an offer to take on emergency response and rescue training.

Dallas, a mobile plant operator and member of the emergency response team at New Acland Mine, was on his way home when he came across the horrific sight of a car and bus accident.

Being the first on the scene Dallas knew it was his responsibility to do what he could to help the injured.

"The training simply kicked in and I went to work," Dallas said.

"I’ve also been first on the scene of two serious motorbike accidents and if not for my training I would have been lost.

"Before doing the course I would have taken one look and thought – nope, I can’t do this. But the training has given me the confidence and skills to be able to jump in and do what is needed."

Growing up next to a quarry meant there was never really any doubt Dallas would wind up in the resources sector.

"I worked at Mitre 10 and then as a fencing contractor but it wasn’t long before I got my first job in the resources sector at Blair Athol working on and then driving the machinery," Dallas said.

"I also worked at Hail Creek in Central Queensland before starting at New Acland Mine just over a decade ago."

Dallas said doing the Certificate III Mine Emergency Response and Rescue was the best thing he has ever done and being a part of the Emergency Response Team at New Acland was a natural fit.

"I have always been very safety conscious and really enjoy helping people," Dallas said.

"Although now I seem to be constantly patching people up where ever I go, especially when I’m at the skate park with my son."

This year Dallas’ dedication to his training saw him become a regional finalist in the State Government Training Awards and captain the New Acland team to victory in the Southern Region Mines Rescue Challenge last month.

The challenge puts teams from mines across the region through a series of real life rescue simulations including road crashes, fires and search and rescue scenarios.

"The training has given me so much confidence not only when it comes to emergency situations but also in my day to day job," Dallas said.

"I use the skills I have learnt every day, whether it is at work, at home or out in the community. It’s great to know you have the skills and confidence to help people in just about any situation.

"I’m always telling my work mates to look for opportunities to increase their knowledge and skills.

"In fact, if I was to ever leave the mines I would go to university and study to become a full paramedic."