Ken Kolenz, a long-time employee of the Poplar River Mine (PRM) in Coronach, has been named the 2010 Emergency Response Person of the Year.
Kolenz, who works in rail maintenance at PRM, was presented the award at the 2010 Saskatchewan Mining Association Competition on June 6, 2010 in Saskatoon.
Ken is currently the coach of the PRM Emergency Rescue team. His involvement in Emergency Response began at the inception of Poplar River Mine’s Emergency Response team in 1991 when volunteers were asked to sign up.
The original team was made up of eight members, most of which had very little training. Ken and one other person were members of the local volunteer fire department and were able to provide some experience and guidance.
Dallas Loucks, former Safety Supervisor for Poplar River Mine, submitted Kolenz’s nomination. Loucks explained the award, “this award is presented annually to a very deserving person who provides leadership to the Emergency Response Program at a mine site and within the mining industry in the province.
Nominations are submitted to the Saskatchewan Mining Association (SMA) which are reviewed and voted on by members of the SMA Safety Committee.”
Loucks, who earlier this year took the position of Sr. Manager at Canada Talc — Madoc, Ontario, was back for the ERT Competition. “Ken had no idea that he had been nominated for this award so it was a bit of surprise for him when he received it at this years annual Emergency Response Competition awards banquet.”
Loucks was pleased to see Kolenz recognized, “I couldn’t say enough about the leadership that Ken has taken over the past years in mentoring and guiding the other members of the Poplar River Emergency Response Team to enable us to have a well trained team. “
Volunteering for this type of work was not new to Ken. He has lived in three different communities and each time has volunteered for either the fire department, ambulance or both. Ken spent ten years as a member of the local Kinsmen club and coached minor ball.
Over the past 19 years, Ken has held many positions on the Emergency Response team. He was team captain for six years, Ken has competed in 14 provincial competitions and 4 Western Regional competitions, each time representing the company with professionalism.
In 2009, Ken took on the role as trainer for the Emergency Response team. Ken is always willing to share his extensive knowledge and skills with members. The team looks forward to utilizing Ken’s teachings now and in the future.
Loucks said, “Ken is a cornerstone of our Emergency Response program at Poplar River Mine and was a very deserving candidate for this prestigious award for 2010.”