by Mary Helen Darah
PUBLICATION DATE: July 31, 2018

MH-HEROS_JULY31
Deputy Chief Mike Froelich

Deputy Chief Mike Froelich
Deputy Fire Chief at Sylvania Township Fire Department Mike Froelich has been on the job keeping Sylvanians safe for 30 years. He wanted to be in a field where he could serve the public since his youth and for the past three decades he has done just that. “The best part of what I do is knowing that I am making in a difference in the safety of others,” stated Deputy Chief Froelich. “My biggest reward is helping others learn how to take responsibility for their own safety through education and awareness. We have a saying, ‘Fire is everyone’s fight.’ I think we need to modify it to include, ‘Safety is everyone’s responsibility.’”

Prevention is Crucial
Deputy Chief Froelich is adamant about reducing community risk. “My first goal is to reduce people’s risk of being injured or losing a loved one due to fire. My second goal is to reduce the number of calls through prevention to keep our crews safe,” stated Deputy Chief Froelich. “Fire prevention is a tough sell. People have the attitude that it’s not going to happen to them… until it does. Accidents happen. That’s why we’re here, but there’s so much that can be done to reduce risk.”

Advice is a phone call away
One of Deputy Chief Froelich’s roles is to serve as a fire and safety inspector. “We enforce the laws to keep people safe,” he explained. “Our basic job is to educate people to follow safety rules. Sometimes we have to enforce those rules. It would be incredible if we could get into the schools and receive funding from the Township to implement Risk Watch, a national school program similar to D.A.R.E. to educate kids fire safety.”

The future of firefighting
“I would like to see us put greater effort into reducing the risk of home fires,” stated Deputy Chief Froelich. Many Sylvanians are unaware that the Sylvania Township Fire Department offers free home inspections and free smoke detectors to help reduce their risk from fires to falls. “We offer advice. All you have to do is call us at
419-882-7676
to receive this free service, that is personalized to your home. I’m dealing with aging parents. I have removed area rugs and gone through their home to remove potential hazards. I would love for the community to take advantage of our service. People need to put it on their to-do list!”

A personal note
“After 30 years on the job, I still love what I’m doing,” Froelich offered. “I’ve been Deputy Fire Chief since 2011 and in Sylvania since 1988. I married a Sylvania girl and have four kids that are all Northview High School graduates. We have one out of college, one in grad school at Lourdes, the other two are undergrads at Bowling Green.

The Deputy Chief has no difficulty leaving his work behind a closed door at the end of the day. “This has been a part of my life for so long,” he stated. “I have learned to shut it off when I have to. I am however looking into promoting a program that is available in Lucas County called Pulse Point. It is a free app for your phone. If you know CPR and someone in a half-mile from you is in cardiac arrest, your phone will alert you so you can begin CPR before the fire department gets there. Early CPR is incredible and increases someone’s life expectancy tremendously. It is important to mention that Sylvania was the first fire department in Lucas County to be fully equipped with paramedic service. All our guys on duty are paramedics. I am the ‘dinosaur,’ the last basic EMT in the department, that will go down in history when I retire at the end of next year. Then I will shut the door for the last time and enjoy spending time with my best friend… who happens to be my wife.”