Rescue Competition Prepares Simplot Teams for Emergency Scenarios

May 30, 2023

Actions taken in the initial moments of an emergency are critical. An employee trained to administer first aid, perform CPR, or execute a rescue situation can be lifesaving.

While we hope to never experience a safety emergency at any J.R. Simplot Company facilities, we recognize the importance of training so we can do our best to keep everyone safe. If an emergency occurs, our priority will always be the safety of our team.

Simplot held its 12th Annual Rescue Competition this spring at the Nampa Fire Training Center in Nampa, Idaho. The competition provided valuable opportunities for seven teams comprising employees from our plants and mines in Idaho, Wyoming, California, and Utah to hone their skills across a wide range of realistic emergency response scenarios. Each team consisted of seven members, including at least one Incident Commander (supervisor/manager) from the facility.

Annual Rescue Competition

The Company competition exposed teams to six realistic emergency scenarios, putting their teamwork, technical and communication skills to work to ensure they’re ready when called to an emergency, either on the job or in the communities where they work and live.

The training scenarios included confined space rescue, high angle rescue, low angle rescue, rescue skills course, medical skills, and hazard recognition/scene safety. Each team was given one hour to perform a rescue in each scenario; proctors monitored their work for safety, professionalism, and appropriate methods of rescue. Afterward, the teams received feedback and a score. At the end of the competition, the score sheets were tallied to determine the winning teams.

“I appreciate how seriously these teams take this rescue training,” Simplot President and CEO Garrett Lofto said. “We hope we never have to use this training in real life, but in the event we do, our people will be ready,” he pointed out, summing up the importance of the Rescue Competition.

The Simplot Rescue Competition also allows employees from other parts of the Company to participate.

“I also like the camaraderie built among people from different locations, as that is One Simplot in action,” Lofto added. “This year, we had representatives from Global Food’s Portage operation and Simplot Transportation participating and observing so they can share learnings and consider participating in the future.”

Annual Rescue Competition

Additional volunteers from Simplot’s Boise Headquarters and other locations played an important role in the competition — the “victims.” More than 30 Simplot employees were adorned with mock injuries, such as burns, bruises or abrasions, to simulate realistic injuries for the teams’ training — and they participated in a mock earthquake!

“Make no mistake about it, the competition at this event is fierce,” said Bret Rowe, Simplot Safety and Security Manager. “However, everyone in attendance – the teams and the facilitators – are willing to forgo their own pride and spirit of competition to make sure that the entire group can prepare for and meet a challenge when needed.”

The intense, two-day competition concluded with an awards banquet to support the outstanding efforts of the teams, volunteers, and organizers.

The Rescue Team from Simplot’s Smoky Canyon, Wyoming, mine won first place in the competition and received the newly-named “Bret Pizzato Memorial Traveling Broken Cup Award” — a traveling trophy the winning team earns.

“Bret was a true supporter of the event and his Rock Springs team won last year during Bret’s last attendance at the event,” said Rowe. “Giving the trophy that title was truly a heartfelt part of the competition, considering Bret and the team damaged the trophy last year while celebrating their win!”

The Rock Springs, Wyoming plant team won the second place award and the team from the Don Plant in Pocatello, Idaho won the third place award.

Congratulations to all the participating teams, organizers, volunteers and attendees — your hard work demonstrated a truly impressive One Simplot effort.

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