John Stevenson’s journey throughout the fire industry
I started in the industry with Wormald way back in 1991; training in those days was all on job and there were no industry qualifications. The industry finally got its act together by introducing the level 3 and level 4 Fire Detection and Alarms, followed shortly by the Sprinkler level 3 and 4 qualifications.
I moved to Fire Security Services (FSS) in 1996 as a tech and I was put in charge of doing the inspections across a network of telecommunication sites in Auckland. I continued gaining qualifications until I left Fire Security Services in early 2001. I was eventually approached by SKYCITY in 2004 as the Fire Services Coordinator - this role was the start of my Independent Qualified Person (IQP) work. During 2009, I completed my Graduate Diploma from the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Fellow Fire Brigades Institute of New Zealand.
In 2014, I was the Fire Protection Training Manager for COMPETENZ in the upper North Island (see the photo to the left). I came back to Fire Security Services in 2017 as the IQP for Auckland and Northland regions. I was also asked to help train FSS staff as well as travel the North Island providing customised trial evacuations and fire extinguisher training for customers.
I must admit, I have a soft spot for FSS as they helped me develop my interest in building compliance in the first place. This company has always put family first and really care about the people who work here. Many years ago, I made a huge blunder and caused a flood at a major telephone exchange. I had caused considerable damage to some equipment and the flooding had to be pumped out of the basement. I thought I would be sacked, but my managers supported me to understand the situation, they were pleased with my upfront honesty, and we all (including the customer) learnt a lot to avoid it happening again. I kept my job and better still, the customer continued to want me on-site.
My job title now at Fire Security Services ”Building Compliance Specialist” for the Auckland and Whangarei branches. In this role, I inspect our customer’s safety features in their buildings allowing them to achieve a building warrant of fitness. I also help other FSS branches with IQP queries, and provide technical assistance across all of our branches when required.
All in all, FSS is a great company to work for and they really look after the people here.