Q & A with Lieutenant Michael Mohnickey of Middleburg Heights Fire Department

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Brook Park, OH, and moved to Middleburg Heights in 2002, where I currently reside.

Where did you attend high school?
I graduated from Holy Name High School in 1993.

What did you do after graduation?
After graduation, I continued in the trade of automotive repair. I obtained ASE certifications as a certified Master Technician and advanced engine performance specialist. My background followed me in the Fire Department as I still maintain and repair our apparatus. I have been fortunate enough to assist in writing the specs for the last four fire apparatus, and I am currently working with Captain Covic and Lieutenant Szoke on our new ladder truck that should be delivered in January 2021.

How did you start your career?
After being in the automotive field for about 12 years a co-worker at the time was hired as a firefighter and explained to me what the job entailed. After hearing all the exciting stories and how fulfilled he was at the end of a shift, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I decided to change careers and started the required schooling and then began taking Fire Department entrance exams.

What do you like about your career, and how do you best contribute to the City of Middleburg Heights?
The career to me is more than going on squad and fire calls, it’s being a part of something bigger. By that, I mean evolving the department into something better than it was yesterday, whether that be learning or improving a skill through daily training or  developing a new plan of action for the city. Currently, with the help of Chief Galgas, Chief Desmarteau and Mayor Castelli, we are putting together a smoke detector program. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has slowed the progress.

Fundraising has also been a huge part of my career. I have organized numerous events with the proceeds going to charities such as MDA, Make-A-Wish and families of two fallen Toledo Firefighters. This year’s plans were to do fundraising to benefit cancer research but again Covid-19 put that on hold. None of this successful fundraising could have been possible without the help of my fellow firefighters, surrounding fire department members, local businesses, and the public.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Lately, my time has been spent planning a wedding with my fiancée. We will be married in September. I enjoy working out, golfing, getting together for dinner with friends and family, live music, and a relaxing vacation.