A fire and emergency services veteran of more than three decades with significant experience at working with volunteer organisations has been appointed the new Chief Officer of the South Australian Country Fire Service.
During his career, Mark Jones has gained significant experience from roles such the Chief Fire Officer for the Buckingham Fire and Rescue Service and the Deputy Chief Executive of the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
Crucially, Mr Jones also has an extensive background in working with the International Firefighters Association – an organisation with about five million members, the majority of whom are volunteers.
Mr Jones, who was awarded a Queens Fire Service Medal in 2014, and is currently the Head of Resilience and Specialist Assets for London Ambulance.
Prior to this, he was also an executive for the Australian Capital Territory Emergency Services Agency.
He was also the chair of the Forest Fires Commission between 2005-2010 and his achievements were noted by the UK Government as a vital connection to the volunteer community.
Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services Corey Wingard said
Mr Jones had been recommended because of his extensive experience with volunteers and knowledge of the emergency services sector.
“Mr Jones is about as highly-credentialled of an applicant we could have hoped for and will be an asset to the Country Fire Service and the Emergency Services sector as a whole,” he said.
“His achievements in helping deliver a volunteer-centric culture between firefighters was also noted by the selection panel.”
“I look forward to working with Mr Jones in ensuring the CFS can continue the excellent work it does for all South Australians.”
Mr Jones said the combination of working with such highly-valued volunteers, and the South Australian lifestyle, was what attracted him to the role.
“The South Australian Country Fire Service consists of a dedicated and valued group of people and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with such a respected organisation.
"I am keen to get on the road and meet the volunteers we depend upon,” Mr Jones said.
Among other achievements, Mr Jones completed a Harvard University Senior Executives in State and Local Government program in 2011 and has worked on European and United Nations Committees where he is an internationally recognised authority on fire policy development and emergency planning.
He is expected to begin the role next month.