Meet Firefighter Julie Griessmeyer
Recruit Class 8 is now serving at a fire station near you! Get to know Madison's newest firefighters.
Where are you stationed?
Currently I work at Station 12 (South Point Road) on the A shift.
Why did you want to pursue this career?
If you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would have told you a veterinarian or the President of the United States of America. Being a firefighter was never on my radar. However, after unexpectedly being let go from a job, I ended up on a couple of bike rides with former MFD Assistant Chief Laura Laurenzi. She encouraged (and continued to encourage) me to pursue firefighting. After learning that this career was an opportunity to serve my community and to face new and unexpected challenges on a daily basis, I knew this was the job for me.
Why did you want to work in Madison?
Since moving to Madison over ten years ago, I immediately knew I had found my new home. The community is vibrant, diverse, active, and progressive. The Madison Fire Department also represents those values and has a well-known reputation in the fire service. To work for a department that meshes with my own values, provides me the opportunity to grow, and lets me serve the community I now call home is a dream come true.
What has been the most rewarding part of your experience so far?
For me, just making it through the long hiring process and then a sixteen-week training academy were accomplishments of which I am very proud. But since getting into the station, I’ve had the opportunity to get out in the community and meet the people we serve. That has been something that has not only been rewarding, but a lot of fun too.
Since graduating the Academy, what are among the most memorable experiences you've had?
Big calls such as fires, vehicle accidents, or significant medical emergencies are always memorable experiences. They are opportunities to show our community what we do best, they boost crew morale, and they provide opportunities to learn and get better at what we do. Add in negative fifty degree wind chills, and you have a day you will never forget!
What advice would you give to someone hoping to join the MFD?
Be patient, persistent, work hard, and be kind to every person you meet. This hiring process is lengthy and challenging and may take you several attempts before you get hired. Never lose hope if things do not work out the first time. Remember that it is not always about experience and your certifications, but rather your character and personality. Every person you run into could have an affiliation with the Madison Fire Department, and you need to always lead with your best foot forward.