Posted on Monday, December 14, 2015 - 10:51am

Michael GuertenEighteen new firefighters graduated the MFD Fire Academy on November 6, 2015. We introduce them to you on the MFD Blog throughout December.

Current station assignment:
Station 10 (Troy Dr.); I will be going to Station 13 (Town Center Dr.) in January.

Why did you want to be a firefighter? 
When I was 12 years old I broke my leg while sledding. The people I was with went to find help. Cell phones were nonexistent then. MFD Engine 5 and Medic 5 showed up, packaged me up, dragged me out of the woods on a toboggan and transported me to St. Mary’s. After that experience I knew what I wanted to do: Become a Firefighter/Paramedic.

Why did you want to serve in the city of Madison?
My story is a little different. I applied to MFD back in the 1990s and early 2000s. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I accepted a full-time position with the Blooming Grove Fire Department. This past year the Township decided to contract with MFD. Not wanting to leave this career, I went through the hiring process and was accepted to the City of Madison Fire Department-- something I’m very grateful for.

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience so far? 
Working with the great men and women that make up the MFD and being able to continue serving the residents of Madison and Dane County.

Looking back at the Fire Academy, what was the most challenging element? 
Smoke divers and crawling through culverts that were meant for water and rodents.

What advice would you give to someone hoping to join the MFD? 
Don’t give up. Obtain as much experience and education as you can. This is a very competitive job to acquire. Set yourself apart from the next candidate.