News & Media

A leader by nature

By: CFA Media

Category: Honours & Awards

  9.30 AM 13 June, 2016

Location: General

Views: 4256

Kyneton’s John Pearce, a CFA member for more than 40 years, is described as having exemplary leadership and is held in high regard by his peers at CFA.

It’s for his service to the community that he will receive an Australian Fire Service Medal as part of the 2016 Queens Birthday Honours announced today (13 June).

He feels very humbled to become a recipient.

“I would certainly like to thank the person who nominated me, I feel quite thrilled about it,” he said.

John’s service to CFA extends as a member of staff and as a volunteer, and throughout his service he has held many roles as he moved through the state.

In 1973, he almost lost his new Rowville house in a bushfire, having just moved to the area. This prompted him to join CFA.

Since then, he has held many positions including Regional Officer and progressed during the ranks to Chief Superintendent. He has been Deputy Regional Officer, Instructor at Fiskville, OIC CFA HQ Operations, Media Liaison Officer, Staff Officer to Chief Officer and OIC of Region 5 and 9. He also had a stint at Acting Deputy Chief Officer and then Infrastructure Planning Officer.

In 1996 he moved to Kyneton and became a member of Kyneton Fire Brigade, and has held various positions including Secretary, 1st and 2nd Lieutenants.

He now holds the position of Group Officer.

In 2011, his strong belief in the multi-agency/ multi-hazard approach prompted him to encourage his colleagues in SES to deal with major flooding event using a joint-agency approach.

This resulted in more than 250 calls for assistance which CFA brigades attended across the group.

“This was a highlight for me, of inter-agency co-operation, working together in a major crisis. And this relationship is one that still exists,” he said.

John has been involved in the Western District fires of 1977, Ash Wednesday fires, the 1985 Maryborough fires, Springhill fires in 1998. He was sent to NSW as part of a strike team in 2006, and was involved in the February fires of 2009, floods of 2011 and last year’s Lancefield fire.

Over his career in CFA he has seen many changes to the organisation.

“I think the development of communication has been one of the huge changes. The introduction of VicFire of the reporting of incidents, rather than people calling the brigade direct has been a big one. The change in vehicles and safety equipment has changed a lot too.”

Colleagues of John say he has been focussed on developing and encouraging potential leaders of tomorrow.

“I would encourage more people to join CFA. For me, it was a way to come into a new community and meet people and make wonderful friends.”

Last Updated: 10 June 2016