From the Frying Pan to the [Board of] Fire [Commissioners]

  • Written by Kristen Hamilton
After 28 years of service, Mike Millman retired from his position as Station Captain at Everett Fire Department in February of this year.  He is far from done serving the public, however,  having recently been  appointed as a new Woodinville Fire & Rescue Board of Fire Commissioner.
As a member of the Board of Fire Commissioners, he’ll meet with fellow commissioners at Headquarters Fire Station 31.  This board oversees all budget and policy decisions for the District.
MIke and familyMichelle, Luke, Jake and Mike MIllman (Courtesy photo)Each member of the Board of Fire Commissioners is typically elected by the citizens and serves a 6-year term although Millman was appointed to the board after a member resigned when he moved from the district.  Members receive a minimal stipend for their services.  Other Board of Fire Commissioner Members include:  Roger Collins, Derek van Veen, Jim Dorney, and Tim Osgood.
The appointment is so new that prior to press time Mike hadn’t yet attended his first meeting but will do so on September 11th.  He has already participated in his first “official duty” however when he volunteered to flip pancakes at the recent Woodinville Fire & Rescue Pancake Breakfast during the Celebrate Woodinville events in August.
I met with Mike and his lovely wife of 21 years last week at their beautiful home in Woodinville.  From the accompanying photo, you’ll probably recognize Mike’s wife Michelle as an anchor for KIRO 7 news. 
Mike became interested in a career as a firefighter when he was in high school, and his dad was dating a female firefighter in Seattle.  He was attracted to the job aspect of helping people, the bonding he witnessed among the firefighters, and the physical aspect of the job.  A few years later, he had a neighbor that had just become a firefighter, and his interest was reignited.  That neighbor became his mentor in the process to become a firefighter, and the rest they say is history.
“I loved the camaraderie of the fire department,” said Millman.  He added that he loved helping people and making a difference.  That is what attracted him to the job so many years ago.
He admitted that their station was very busy though and that a fair amount of stress accompanied the job.  Millman said, “I don’t miss the sleep deprivation.”
Following retirement, Mike took some much needed time off “to decompress” as Michelle noted.  But when the opportunity to join the Fire Board presented itself, he jumped at it.  He’s happy to give back to the Woodinville community that has been so good to his family.  “I think they [Board of Fire Commissioners] are doing a fantastic job,” he said. 
He’s already been working with the staff and is looking forward to getting involved in the meetings and workshops.
The Fire Chief from the Everett Fire Department, David DeMarco, said of Millman, “He was a great employee, and we have all wished him well in his retirement years. I’m happy to hear he is still leading a life of service in his own community. He brings years of expertise and will be a valuable member of your Fire Board.”
Mike bought his home in Woodinville in 1992, and Michelle joined him when they married.  He loves the location and that it is close to the mountains, water, work, and town.  Plus he said, “the people are great.”  Michelle added, “It is not a big city, and we are really part of a community.” 
Together the couple have two boys. Jake will be beginning his sophomore year at the University of Washington while Luke will be a senior at Ingelmoor High School.  Mike and Michelle both praised the Northshore School District, and they are grateful for the opportunities it has provided.
Michelle wrapped things up by saying how proud she was of Mike.   By continuing to serve the community and giving back.  “He’s one of the smartest people I know,” she added.
I think Woodinville is lucky to have Mike along with his passion and experience serving the community as a new member of the Board of Fire Commissioners.
For more information about the Woodinville Fire & Rescue and the Fire Commissioners, visit

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