A firefighter from Valley Regional Fire Authority standing in front of a fire truck.

Firefighter Lars Mickelson retires

After a long career as a Firefighter/EMT and Technical Rescue Specialist, Lars Mickelson is retiring from the Valley Regional Fire Authority. His career in the fire service spans twenty years, serving first with Mountain View Fire and Rescue and then VRFA, but prior to becoming a firefighter, Mickelson worked in several capacities in the emergency medical field.

His first exposure to emergency medicine was serving as a combat medic for the US Army Reserves. After that, Mickelson worked for King County Ambulance as an EMT and Overlake Hospital as an Emergency Room Technician.

In addition to his firefighting duties, Mickelson served eight years as a Technical Rescue Specialist for the VRFA and obtained certifications in dive and swift water rescue, as well as high and low angle rescue. He played a part in several emergency rescues, working alongside his Technical Rescue Team (TRT) members.

When he wasn’t working, Mickelson played guitar in a local band and coached girls and boys soccer. He will continue both after retirement.

Firefighter Jeremy Nylund, who worked with Mickelson at Mountain View Fire and Rescue and as part of the TRT team, said this about his long-time co-worker and friend, “Even though Lars missed his calling as a professional head banging rock star, I’m glad I ended up side by side with him in this great career of firefighting. His ability to connect with people and his great personality made him a fun guy to have around the fire station.”

Although he is retiring from the fire service, Mickelson will not be getting much rest and relaxation, he will be working full time in a family-owned business.

“As excited as I am about moving on to a new career and the next chapter of my life, I am saddened to think of all that I am leaving. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been part of the fire service family, surrounded by such professional people. I am thankful for the experiences I have had, the memories I will take with me, and most of all, for the great relationships and friendships forged throughout my career,” said Mickelson.

“Lars is one of those low-maintenance, high-performance people that are the driving force in any successful organization. He was always quick to take on responsibility and slow to acknowledge his own contributions. He will be missed here, but we wish him great success in his new and exciting endeavors,” said Fire Chief Brent Swearingen.