Meet your local volunteer firefighter | Guest Column

San Juan Island volunteer firefighter Michael Hartzell.  - Contributed photo/Ron Garner
San Juan Island volunteer firefighter Michael Hartzell.
— image credit: Contributed photo/Ron Garner

By Sheila Harvey, San Juan Fire & Rescue public information officer

Special to the Journal

Michael Hartzell grew up in Friday Harbor. He is the chef for the Cask and Schooner and has been with them since their opening.

Mike is married to Rachel (also grew up in Friday Harbor) who is the referral coordinator for Dr. Burk Gossom.

He has been with San Juan Island Fire & Rescue for five years and has served in many capacities.

Although he has been trained in all aspects of beginning and advanced firefighting, his favorite roll is fighting structural fires, as a hose man.

“Its more fun!”

Mike has recently taken an incident command system course to keep up on firefighter strategies and assisted in training the new Wildland Firefighter 2 class, which were held here on the island June 21 and 22, and June 28 and 29, noting that there are several opportunities within the department to broaden one’s horizons.

He definitely recommends recruits attend this class as a great introduction to firefighting. He also joins structural firefighter recruits to the state’s North Bend facility, as part of the recruit’s training.

Mike’s involvement with San Juan Island Fire & Rescue began when he decided to join his friends in looking for something exciting to do, and look how far he has come.

Great news from Mike is that he and fellow firefighter Brandon Baney have passed the exams to become emergency medical technicians. Congratulations.

San Juan Island Fire and Rescue welcomes interested persons to drop by the Mullis Street station, or phone 378-5334 for information on upcoming Wildland Firefighter 2 class and more.


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