Lt. Michael McCartney Named Wisconsin ‘HazMatter Of the Year’

Lt. McCartney with members of his Hazmat crew
Lt. Michael McCartney (center) with members of the MFD Hazardous Incident Team

Wisconsin's 2024 "HazMatter Of the Year" is our very own Lt. Michael McCartney! 

This statewide recognition is granted to just one person each year. The Wisconsin Association of Hazardous Materials Responders (WAHMR) honored Lt. McCartney at their 2024 conference.

McCartney joined the MFD Hazardous Incident Team, as a team leader, in 2016. It was a head-first immersion for someone who had no prior experience in the specialty, but McCartney quickly caught on. In doing so, he demonstrated a collaborative leadership approach that involved encouraging the growth and development of his team members while fostering a better connection across all three Hazmat shifts. In the meantime, he helped streamline processes, improve efficiencies, and increase cost savings.

“Lt. McCartney knows how to build teams that motivate themselves,” said Firefighter/EMT Ryan Beckwith, a member of McCartney’s crew on the Hazardous Incident Team. “That’s what makes a great leader.”

A former schoolteacher, it’s no surprise McCartney took naturally to revamping the team’s training curriculum. He did so in a manner that equipped the entire team with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively respond to a wide range of complex hazmat incidents. At the same time, he’s continuously sought out opportunities to deepen his own knowledge in the hazmat specialty.

“Through his dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to excellence, Michael has transformed the Hazmat Team into a highly effective and well-respected unit,” said Madison Fire lieutenant and fellow HIT member Zack Hake. “His leadership has had a profound impact on the team’s capabilities and has positioned it as a model for other Hazmat Teams to emulate.”

The “HazMatter of the Year” Award is given in recognition of McCartney’s service and dedication to the improvement of the HazMat response community. Madison Fire is proud of Lt. McCartney’s achievement, and grateful for all that McCartney has done to strengthen our Hazardous Incident Team!

About the MFD HIT

The MFD Hazardous Incident Team is based at Fire Station 7 on McKenna Boulevard. The HIT is a Type II regional “Level A” team. The team can be activated for any incident involving a hazardous materials release, leak, explosion, injury, or potential of immediate threat to life, the environment, or property. The Madison Regional Response Team covers the Wisconsin counties of Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Dane, Iowa, Grant, Lafayette, Green, and Rock. Learn more about the MFD HIT.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison Fire Department.

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