February 18, 2021

Kari Herukka, who works as the safety expert for the Kittilä mine’s expansion project, was inducted to Agnico Eagle’s Mine Rescue Hall of Fame in recognition of his commendable work for our mine’s rescue operations. The recognition was awarded by the Kittilä mine’s General Manager Tommi Kankkunen at a ceremony held on February 8, with health and safety experts from Canada attending the event remotely.

“The rescue organization is vital for our mine,” said Kankkunen. ”It feels good to know that we have people here who are prepared well and ready to commence professional rescue operations if need be. I’m really proud of our team. It’s great to see how our rescue operations are continuously maintained and developed.”

Kari Herukka, who began his work at the mine in March 2008, is one of the important, pioneering developers of our rescue operations.

“Kari, you were the first person I met when I came to the mine, and you provided the introduction. You have organized so many rescue drills, and I have learned so much from you,” said Mine Superintendent Matias Suomela.

For Kari Herukka, the recognition came as a big surprise. “It is nice, of course, when your work gets recognized,” he responded modestly. Helping others comes naturally to Herukka, a former volunteer firefighter, a fact that was noted by the award jury.

Norman Ladouceur, Corporate Manager, Health and Safety, described the criteria thus: “An Agnico Eagle employee who is particularly distinguished in developing the operation of the rescue organization during drills and real situations can be inducted to the Hall of Fame. The person shows initiative, comes up with ideas, develops the rescue operations and acts as a mentor to newcomers, and is always available to help. He or she understands how the mine’s rescue operations function and what rescue work is like in practice. The person has thorough knowledge of the rescue guidelines and the equipment involved.”

Clearly, it is not easy to get inducted to the Agnico Eagle Mine Rescue Hall of Fame. We would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to Kari, along with all the members of our rescue organization, for this recognition, and we wish you all success in your important work!

The Agnico Eagle Mine Rescue Hall of Fame 

The idea of establishing the Agnico Eagle Mine Rescue Hall of Fame was born in 2008 as the brainchild of Paul Noel, who works as a hoist operator at our LaRonde mine. The point was to recognize those employees who have worked to develop mining rescue operations further and, in particular, have succeeded in this work. He started promoting the idea in discussions with Michel Letourneau, who was working as the safety superintendent of the LaRonde mine at the time. The first nine award-winners’ names were listed on the Mine Rescue Hall of Fame board, on the wall at the LaRonde mine, in 2009. In total, 41 Agnico Eagle employees have received this recognition so far, including three people from the Kittilä mine.

Follow this link to read about how the Kittilä Mine Rescue Team cooperates with local rescue authorities.