Meet John McDermott,
John is the Senior Maintenance Technician for our ITS maintenance contract in NSW.
It’s been 47 years since John first entered the ITS industry.
“I think I know a fair bit about signals” John jokes
“I started in 1973 as an apprentice. When I was in high school [the council] were building a brand new intersection outside the school. I liked how the work was outdoors, and the electricity factor was interesting to me.”
John left school at the age of 16 to take up an apprenticeship with the Department of Motor Transport (DMT) now commonly known as Transport for NSW (TfNSW).
Now in his 47th year in the industry and his second year with DM Roads, John has since taken up an added responsibility to his day to day role, mentoring.
“I’m happy to pass on the knowledge I’ve gained if it helps someone and that’s willing to learn.” John says.
“To be in this industry for as long as I have, you need to have an interest. I’m lucky that all the new staff are all very interested and willing to learn.”
John describes the gratification he receives after mentoring and witnessing a more junior colleague repair a signal in a safe and efficient manner.
Over time, John has been a witness to the evolution of traffic signals. He notes that there has been a dramatic change in the way safety is perceived from when he first entered the industry.
“When I first started, we would stop our vehicle in the middle of the road and just walk up to change the lamp – with no protection at all.” John describes.
“The leaps and bounds that have occurred in traffic signals over the past 50 years, especially working with DM Roads is quite spectacular!”
It’s been a life long passion that John admits has taken over his life. “I hate signals that are faulty – but I love to fix them. I get a great deal of satisfaction when I get to a site that is flashing yellow, and I can leave knowing that it’s back in service.”
With decades of knowledge at his belt, John imparts the most important advice he could give to young ITS electricians.
“Look out for traffic. Look out for members of the public, the vehicles on the road and anything else that will impact your safety.”