Meet Golden Valley Firefighter Mike Pellizzer

Back in the '70s, Mike Pellizzer tried to join the Minneapolis Fire Department right out of high school, but he didn’t make the cut. "Didn’t do well on the testing," he says.

So he went on to other things. He co-founded a successful ice cream shop called Sebastian Joe's. He moved to Golden Valley. He started a family. It wasn't until after his kids got a few years older and his life a little more settled that Pellizzer thought to revisit his early ambition of becoming a firefighter.

"I was 47 years old," he says, "and everyone around me was in their mid 20s or early 30s, so I was a bit nervous. But I realized you don't have to be young to join. It's been a wonderful experience and a neat adventure."

"It’s also another way to give back to the community," he adds, "and that's a good example I'm able to pass on to my kids."