Meet Firefighter Michael Olson
Eighteen 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 7 (McKenna Blvd.)
Why did you want to be a firefighter?
The fire service has been a part of my life since the day I was born as my dad was a Lieutenant for MFD and my mom worked in EMS.
When I was younger, I enjoyed spending time at the local fire station in my hometown of Oregon, WI, assisting with special events and helping out in any way possible. However, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to take part in a School to Work program through my high school and the Oregon Fire Department that I knew I would become a firefighter.
I got to experience first hand what it means to be a part of the fire service, and it is very rewarding to know that every day you go to work you are making a difference in someone’s life-- and in the community as a whole.
Why did you want to serve in the city of Madison?
Madison has so much to offer on and off the job. Also, my family has history in the Madison Fire Department and it has been something I have always wanted to be a part of.
What has been the most rewarding part of your experience so far?
It’s very rewarding to know that I am helping the people of our community in their time of need.
Looking back at the Fire Academy, what was the most challenging element?
Smoke Divers was by far the most physically and mentally challenging part of the Academy; however, it was also the most rewarding. Smoke Divers put together all the individual skills and training we learned since Day 1 and made us apply them in the most extreme situations. At times it felt like we would never get through it, however, it forced us to work together as a team and trust one another. It led us to be even stronger individually and as a group once we successfully completed the course.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to join the MFD?
If you’re looking to join the Madison Fire Department, the best advice I can give is to just get involved, whether it be at a local fire department to understand how the service operates or just through volunteer work in the community. Being in the fire service is all about giving back. Also “invest in yourself” by taking classes or reaching out to someone on the department to serve as a mentor as you begin to advance in your career journey.