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John Haynes - AFSM
CFA Deputy Chief Officer John Haynes isn’t the type of person to rest idly in a job.
It’s a personality trait that has characterised his 30 plus years with CFA which has now been capped with an Australian Fire Service Medal.
“I like challenging the status quo and looking for new and improved ways to support our frontline firefighters,” Mr Haynes explains.
“Some people get upset by the way I continually challenge things, but I do it with the hope of improving the organisation.”
Mr Haynes started with CFA as a junior member of the Traralgon Fire Brigade, then as a volunteer member at Wangaratta.
In 1985 he joined CFA headquarters as Assistant Regional Officer.
His reach within the organisation has since spread far and wide through numerous projects that have shaped the service we see today.
His work post Black Saturday in developing Incident Control Centres and Incident Management Teams has led to continual improvements and better information flow between the field and state level.
He was also part of the Equipment Design Committee which oversaw the creation of the 4.4R fire truck – a self-contained, remote-controlled tanker he describes as the future of firefighting.
“Looking to the future is what makes me get out of bed in the morning,” Mr Haynes says.
“I’ve worked in some really smart, forward-thinking teams willing to take a risk and not afraid to fail.”
But Mr Haynes’s toughest work has undoubtedly been in the investigation of major fires, such as Linton, involving the deaths of CFA members.
These dark realities led to changes in training, equipment and crew protection standards.
“I’ve seen a lot of change and contributed to a small portion of it,” Mr Haynes admits.
“I have also been lucky enough to have some exceptional mentors along the way – from volunteers, District Mechanical Officers and Regional Directors.
“It makes you reflect on where we’ve come in the last 30 years and the importance of having the support of family and friends to build a career in emergency services.
Despite all his achievements Mr Haynes doesn’t feel his work is done.
“The organisation is still evolving.
“We’ve got great opportunities for CFA to continue to improve and become a really good example of a truly community-focused, service-delivery organisation.”