John makes a splash in China

John Mangrum, treasurer and firefighter from Anakie Fire Brigade, swam his way to four gold and one silver at the recent World Police and Fire Games in Chengdu, China.


John was CFA's only representative, and one of four from Victoria.

Only 40 of the 12,000 competitors at this year's Games, held from 28 July to 6 August, represented Australia. John was one of four from Victoria and the only representative from CFA.

John is no stranger to a few medals. Last year, John swum in the Australian Masters Games in New Zealand, representing Australia. He picked up 13 gold medals, and a further two bronze and a silver in the Pan Pacific Championships.

In March 2018, John represented CFA for the first time in an event, and won an astounding eight gold medals, two silver and set two games records in a variety of different strokes in the Victorian Police and Emergency Services Games. 

Following the games, he drove straight from the games to fight fires in the South West. 

Later in 2018, John picked up five gold, six silver and one bronze in the Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games in Mandurah, Western Australia. This time, John has represented CFA in the World Police and Fire Games - and picked up a few more medals to add to the collection.

“Given that I’m originally from America, making Australia my home and being able to represent Australia has made me really proud,” John said. 

“Being able to do it for CFA and my brigade just makes it extra special, I’ve really become part of the brigade.”

In the USA, John worked for his shire council - where he worked alongside emergency services. In 2017, he moved to Australia and joined the CFA.

“I’ve been working with firefighters for years, so it made sense to stay involved and join CFA,” John said. “I’ve been swimming at World Class levels for the USA for a number of years - so I wanted to keep that up as well.

“I’d love to do more events - I’ve got my sights set on the World Police and Fire Games again in two years, in the Netherlands,” John said. “The Australasian Games will be in Wollongong next year, and in 2021 I’ve heard they will be in New Zealand, which I’d be keen to do.”

John picked up an amazing four gold medals and one silver.

John’s results are as follows:


  • 100m butterfly
  • 50m butterfly
  • 100m backstroke
  • 200m individual medley


  • 50m backstroke

John represented Anakie FB, CFA and Australia in Chengdu last month.

The next World Police and Fire Games will be held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands from 30 July - 8 August 2021, where 63 sports will be played by competitors from all over the world.  For more information, visit http://www.wpfgrotterdam2021.c...

Author: Daisy Cleland