Meet Firefighter Mike Lothe
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Where are you stationed?
I've been at Fire Station 8 (Lien Road) on the B shift.
Why did you want to pursue this career?
In my mid-20s, I sat down and really thought hard about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I previously worked in the trades and didn't see myself doing that long term. I always wanted to do something in which I’d have an impact on other people’s lives, and pursuing a career as a firefighter seemed like a perfect fit for me. I couldn't be happier that I chose to make that career change.
Being a firefighter is a noble profession. You are always out in the community’s eyes representing the city you work for. This is something I want to be a part of.
Why did you want to work in Madison, for the Madison Fire Department?
I grew up just a few miles north of Madison and spent a lot of my childhood here. I love the City of Madison and am happy that I get to be a part of this community. The Madison Fire Department offers a wide range of experiences that I’m able to pursue throughout my career. I look forward to my lifelong career here.
What has been the most rewarding part of your experience so far?
Being able to graduate the Fire Academy with Class 7. As a class, we worked hard for several weeks to be able to call ourselves Madison firefighters. The academy was taxing in so many ways; however, the accomplishment of being pinned with the MFD badge made every minute worthwhile.
Looking back at the Fire Academy, what was the most challenging element?
I think the most challenging element for me was the week of “smoke divers.” This week we were tasked to perform all the skills we were taught throughout the academy, put them together, and work as a team to accomplish several different assignments. The training staff stepped it up a notch this week and we performed the tasks to a higher expectation. We had to rely on one another to accomplish many drills that appeared impossible. We experienced a few failures, a few successes, and many sore muscles.
What advice would you give to someone hoping to join the MFD?
Work hard and stick true to your values. You don’t have to know everything about being a firefighter in order to get hired, but you do have to come in with positive values and a willingness to learn. Strive to make yourself better and continue to educate yourself in the field.