Grovedale CFA volunteer honoured

July 10, 2024 BY

CFA volunteer Dr James Mullins was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the Kings Birthday honours. Photo: SUPPLIED

GROVEDALE CFA volunteer Dr James Mullins has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his invaluable services.

The volunteer was recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours List for his service to science and the community through an emergency service response organisation.

Dr Mullins said it was a great honour to receive the award and something that hasn’t really sunk in yet.

“It’s not why we do what we do as volunteers or engineers.

“Hopefully it’s another platform that allows us to do great things and introduce new technology into the fire service.”

Dr Mullins joined the CFA at just 13 years old as a junior in Maryborough and joined the Grovedale team in 2008, where he became First Lieutenant in 2016.

“We generally see people in some of the worst days of their life and if we can make a little bit of difference then that’s what gets me out of bed,” he said.

In 2017, Dr Mullins founded FLAIM Systems, a company specialising in immersive training environments, and in 2021 introduced virtual reality firefighting.

These systems combine virtual reality technology with real-life industry standard equipment including a fire nozzle, breathing apparatus and, hose reel with jet reaction forces.

Dr Mullins worked on a project with the Australian Army to develop robots that could disarm landmines, about the same time the CFA’s fire training facility closed.

“I saw how the military were training in the virtual space, and I thought we could do the same for firefighters,” he said.

Dr Mullins said the CFA had been a big part of his life and he had enjoyed every minute of it.

CFA runs in the family, with his dad a member for more than 50 years while his grandad was the captain of Maryborough.

Dr Mullins was crew leader during the Black Saturday fires and fought in the Linton bushfire alongside his dad.

This latest award adds to the National Medal, National Emergency Medal for Black Saturday and 25-year Medal he’s already received.