Richfield’s newest firefighter, Mike Ziskovsky, has already shown he has what it takes
On October 23, firefighter Mike Ziskovsky received his official firefighter badge at the Richfield City Council meeting. Ziskovsky may be Richfield’s newest firefighter, but he has experienced more in his short time with the department that some firefighters have in a lifetime of service.
From a young age, Ziskovsky knew that he wanted to be in the fire service. He may have taken a few detours on his path to becoming a full-time firefighter, but on some level, he knew he would end up here.
“Both my great grandpa and grandpa were St. Paul firefighters,” remembered Ziskovsky. “I love hearing their firefighting stories. They really stuck with me from a young age.”
Ziskovsky did a firefighter explorer program during high school and earned his EMT certificate while enrolled in college.
Eventually, he joined the Bloomington Fire Department as a paid-on-call firefighter, spending 11 years providing exemplary service to the residents of that city.
In April 2018, Ziskovsky joined the Richfield Fire Department.
Prior to receiving their badge, Richfield firefighters must pass a six-month probationary period. Ziskovsky successfully completed his probationary period and was awarded his badge on October 23 during the city’s regularly scheduled city council meeting.
“We’re extremely happy to have Mike join Richfield Fire Department,” exclaimed Fire Chief Wayne Kewitsch. “His years of experience in the fire service will make him a great addition to our team.”
Ziskovsky had to hit the ground running during his first probationary week.
“As a firefighter, you never know what to expect, but you have to be prepared. That definitely encompasses how my first week on the job went,” remembered Ziskovsky. “We brought a woman back who was in full cardiac arrest on day two and saved a cat during a kitchen fire later in the week.”
As memorable as his first week was, the call that will stick with him through his entire career in the fire service came on July 5.
Ziskovsky along with firefighter Brian Weinholz responded to an imminent birth call at the residence of Matthew and Gina Erickson.
Now, first responders go on a fair share of imminent birth calls. Typically, they assist the expecting mother until the paramedics arrive and she is transported to the hospital. However, less than 30 minutes after they arrived Finley Alexander Erickson was born at 9:11 a.m. at the Erickson’s residence.
Throughout the delivery process, Weinholz and Ziskovsky assisted the paramedics by timing contractions, making sure Ms. Erickson was comfortable, providing post-birth suction to the baby’s mouth and nose, stimulating the baby to achieve good skin color, as well as administering oxygen.
Ziskovsky received a stork pin to signify that he assisted in a home birth, which is a rare designation that firefighters go their entire careers without experiencing.
Ziskovsky’s biggest fans are his family. His wife, Lisa, is a former firefighter with the City of Bloomington and his two sons, Ben and John, are so proud of their dad. All three were on hand for Ziskovsky’s badging presentation.
“Since Mike has joined RFD, he’s shown a great deal of enthusiasm and dedication to the city and its residents,” insisted Kewitsch.