Mark Lyons joined MFB in 1988. As he recalls:
I was looking for something to challenge me … I had a brother-in-law who was in the fire brigade and he said ‘You would be very well suited to this’ and he was right. I was lucky enough to get in and 30 years later, I’ve not ever regretted a day on the job.
Becoming a firefighter with MFB has always been highly competitive, and it was no different when Mark applied. He remembers about 4,000 people applying the year he did and recalls the challenging physical and theoretical testing process. It was hard work, but at 27 years old, Mark was looking for a challenge.
While he didn’t know much about what he was getting into when he first started, Mark found that a career as a firefighter was just what he was looking for. The unpredictable nature of call outs, the camaraderie and doing something for his community, were aspects of the job that meshed well with Mark’s own set of values. The lifestyle a career as a firefighter offered him, was also appealing. ‘I was able to be involved with my family’, he reflects, ‘school pick-ups, camps, sports games … for me that was really, really important’.
Mark moved up through the ranks quickly, taking up promotions and new challenges eagerly. After sustaining a workplace injury that put him out of action, Mark discovered a new side to the organisation when he became involved in operational training.
I often used the analogy, it was a bit like the opening scenes of The Wizard of Oz. I've been in the fire brigade and everything was black and white. I went to training and everything turned to colour … I began to interact and see this massive organisation that gave me so many opportunities to put forward my views in different forums on recruitment, on PPC protective clothing, truck equipment … So, I wouldn't call it a challenge, but certainly opportunities came my way and I was very, very grateful for it to this day.
After more than 30 years at MFB, Mark found a career path that was rewarding and fulfilling. His passion for his job has clearly had an impact on his family, with his daughter Ebony joining the ranks in 2018.