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Hoosier Lottery News

Interest Stories

A lifelong passion for making a difference: Mike W, Retired Firefighter 

05/23/20225 minutes

Hoosier Lottery Beneficiary, Local Police & Firefighters’ Pensions

Making a difference has been an ever-present theme in Mike’s life. Mike spent 23 years as a firefighter in his hometown of Muncie, Indiana. He joined the fire department to give back to the community he loved so much, and because he wanted a little adventure.

As a firefighter, Mike made an impact helping people when they needed it most, by saving homes, rescuing people from car wrecks and so much more. “We show up on probably the worst day these people ever had, and we try to make it better,” Mike said. He also enjoyed the camaraderie he shared with his fellow firefighters, sharing meals and getting to know their families.

In 2018, Mike was injured in the line of duty. After four major surgeries, his doctor said there was no way he could allow Mike to return to work.

While Mike was devastated about the end of his firefighting career, he knew he had a pension that would help him take care of his family. He had enough time with the department to be able to retire, but even if he hadn’t, his pension would have been there.

“Firefighting is dangerous, and it's not an old man's job. The pension we have here in Indiana allows us to retire at a decent age with a modest pension. We're not going to get rich on our pension, but it allows us to leave when we can still enjoy some life,” Mike said.

Now that he’s retired, Mike continues to make a difference, serving as the Vice President of the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana. As part of his duties, he lobbies the Indiana General Assembly to help further improve healthcare, safety, working conditions and more for the Union's members and their families.

He’s also enjoying more time with his wife, kids and grandkids. Mike said that as a firefighter, he missed some of his kids’ sporting events and activities, and is enjoying being around to watch his grandkids participate in those same things.

As for what Mike would say to someone considering being a firefighter?

“It’s the greatest job in the world. I highly recommend it."

The Hoosier Lottery would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Mike and all the other firefighters who make a huge difference in the lives of so many, each and every day.

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