CFS and RFDS chiefs head to Kangaroo Island for Community Connect forum

CFS UNITS: A KI CFS appliance works near American River last year.
CFS UNITS: A KI CFS appliance works near American River last year.

Kangaroo Island residents will have the opportunity to quiz the chiefs of the Country Fire Service and Rural Flying Doctor Services.

The two chiefs are the guest speakers at the second Community Connect event 7pm this Friday, November 22 at the Aurora Ozone Hotel in Kingscote, organised by the KI Commissioner's office.

This is an opportunity to hear from guest speakers CFS chief officer Mark Jones and RFDS chief executive Tony Vaughan.

Mark and Tony will provide an update on their organisations, along with a community Q&A session on the couch.

Wednesday, November 20 is Kangaroo Island's first ever Catastrophic fire day and KI Commissioner Wendy Campana wished everyone well.

"On this Catastrophic fire day, I felt it appropriate to send a message of support for our fire services and volunteers who stand ready if needed today on this day and of course everyday throughout the year. With the events occurring interstate the danger of bushfires is clearly on all of our minds.

"Please take care of yourselves and your families especially our very young and ageing populations. Check on family and friends and importantly be ready and alert and keep hydrated.

"It is also timely that I remind you of the Community Event we are co-hosting with the Ozone this Friday night (November 22) at the Ozone in Kingscote 7pm. Click here for more information.

"You will get the chance to hear from Mark Jones, CO of the SA Country Fire Service and Tony Vaughan, CE of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Tracey Fox from Volunteers SA about their work and what they do to support Kangaroo Island residents, businesses and visitors.

"I look forward to seeing you on Friday night and in the meantime - stay safe."

Please click here to register for the event, or contact Jennifer Trethewey on 8553 4404 or0427 594 220. Please RVSP by 5pm this Thursday.

CFS chief officer Mark Jones profile

Mark joined Grampian Fire Brigade in Northern Scotland in 1985 and served in various roles, achieving the position of Assistant Firemaster in 2004. He enjoyed secondments to the national training school as an instructor and to Her Majesty's Fire Service Inspectorate as an inspector.

He moved to Essex in England in 2005 as Deputy Chief Fire Officer and became Chief Fire Officer of Buckinghamshire in 2010, leading many improvements in that role. He has been involved in Bushfire as a specialist for many years and has served on several committees of experts and working groups. He has made presentations on bushfire to many national agencies and has made speeches on wildfire policy at both the European Union and United Nations Headquarters.

After retiring from the UK Fire and Rescue Service, Mark moved to Australia and served as the ACT Emergency Services Agency's "Director of Strategic Reform" for two years before returning to the UK. His most recent role there was London Ambulance Service's "Head of Resilience and Specialist Assets" in which he oversaw the preparations for, and responses to, large scale emergencies, events and terror related incidents.

His career has spanned roles in emergency planning and disaster management, operational Fire Command, Fire Safety and Training.

Mark assumed command of South Australia's Country Fire Service in October 2019.

RFDS chief executive Tony Vaughan profile

Previous to his appointment, Tony was the General Manager at SA Ambulance Service (SAAS) for 21 years.

A paramedic by background he worked in metropolitan and country operations in various leadership roles for 12 years prior to taking up the General Manager role.

The last 4 years of his role at SAAS was dedicated to creating and managing the aeromedical and retrieval arm of SA Health & MedSTAR Emergency Medical Retrieval based at Adelaide Airport. MedSTAR is a business unit of SAAS.