Submitted by his wife
When 32-year old Lt. John K. Mickel told someone that he was a firefighter/paramedic‚ he wasn’t just telling them of his chosen vocation‚ he was telling them‚ in large part‚ who he was. Firefighting was his way of life.
He strove to excel from the onset of his nine-year career. He graduated from the Central Florida Fire Academy in the top ten of his class and received the highest score on his Physical Agility test. He volunteered to gain experience and was hired in 1993 by Osceola County/Fire Rescue. After being hired‚ John continued his education to help better serve residents and businesses of his community. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1997.
Fellow firefighters describe him as being a great leader: dedicated‚ brave‚ and someone who always put 120% effort into whatever he did.
John was a proud member of Osceola Local 3284 and the FOOLS. He attended several Fire Department Instructors Conferences in Indianapolis‚ Indiana.
Above all‚ though‚ he was a dedicated husband and father who took great pride in his family. He left behind his wife of nearly eight years‚ Carlotta‚ and their two young children‚ Dillon and Mallory. John learned the importance of family early in his life from his parents‚ Keith and Catherine Mickel‚ and sister Meredith.
After God‚ family and firefighting‚ John loved salt water fishing‚ especially in his 13 _ foot ‘offshore’ Boston Whaler. He was an avid outdoorsman who also enjoyed surfing‚ hunting‚ scuba diving and sports.
John had presence. If there was a group of people‚ he was usually in the middle of them. A true Irishman‚ he was the life of the party‚ never leaving without talking to everyone and usually the last to leave.
He lost his life in a flashover while participating in a live burn training exercise on July 30‚ 2002.
John always said‚ ‘You have to be happy.’ And he set the example for those who knew him by living life to the fullest and loving just as much.