Brian Potter commenced his career with the Country Fire Authority as a Trainee Regional Officer in 1964 after volunteer service with Upper Ferntree Gully Rural and Ferntree Gully Urban Fire Brigades.
In 1965, as a junior officer he participated in the major fires at Longwood, Acheron and subsequently the long-running East Gippsland fire where he and his crew were burnt when they became trapped between two fire fronts. Later that year he was appointed as aide to the newly-appointed permanent Chairman, Brigadier R.T. Eason. The following year he ran Region 12 at Seymour while R/O McLaren was on long-service leave.
In January, 1967 R/O Penna sustained a heart attack at Wangaratta and Brian ran Region 23 until August. He returned to Headquarters and was detailed as OIC of a CFA stand at the Royal Melbourne Show. The stand was considered successful and he took it to the Swan Hill, Shepparton, Geelong and Bendigo shows. He was sent to Region 15, Ballarat after R/O Chaplain had a coronary and, after a very short term (three days) transferred to Region 6, Colac where R/O Clarke had also had a heart attack.
Brian remained at Colac for the next three years apart from a term in Region 7, relieving R/O Steinhauser following the 1969 fires. That same year he was appointed OIC, Region 6 and in 1970 he married Diane Beckett who was the youngest daughter of the Resident Officer at Colac, Reg Beckett.
The following year, almost immediately after the birth of their first child Paul in 1971, the family was transferred to Seymour where Brian took over Region 12 on a permanent basis. While at Seymour their second son, Mark was born shortly after major floods had isolated the Seymour hospital.
In 1974 he was promoted as Assistant Chief Officer, North Eastern Zone with headquarters at Wangarata. During their four years there Meagan was born in 1975 and Luke 1n 1977. Brian spent considerable time away from home due to his involvement in the CFA Board of Examiners which was based at Fiskville and in 1978 he was transferred as OIC Training Wing at Fiskville. During the next two years he organized the commencement of block-release training and was appointed as Deputy Director of the first National Command Course for senior fire officers from throughout Australia.
In August, 1980 Brian was promoted to Deputy Chief Officer responsible for training, communications, fire safety, research and development and the design and introduction of new equipment. He was awarded the Queens Fire Service Medal (QFSM). The major fires of Ash Wednesday, 1983 combined with a Government inquiry into fire service amalgamation meant that much of his involvement was convening and/or attending meetings and workshops to bring about a satisfactory structure. In 1984, CFA sent him to the United States, Austria and England to investigate improved command and control methods, training, communications and new trends in fire-fighting vehicles and equipment.