The McKinney Fire Department (MFD) is hosting Officer Cadet Michal Zugaj from the Main School of Fire Service in Warsaw, Poland, who is part of a prestigious international program that provides Polish fire officer candidates the opportunity to experience the U.S. fire service. Zugaj, a senior at Main School, is one of only five cadets chosen this year to be placed at a U.S. fire department. He will complete the month-long internship with the MFD during the month of September.
Unlike the U.S., Poland operates a nationalized fire service, and Main School is its primary officer academy. Upon completion of his studies, Zugaj will graduate with a degree equivalent to a master’s degree in Fire Safety Engineering and be assigned as a Junior Captain in Poland.
“Being approached again to host a Cadet is a great honor. It speaks highly of the regard in which the McKinney Fire Department is held, not only in Texas but across the nation and internationally,” said Fire Chief Danny Kistner.
This professional development program creates lifelong networking opportunities.
“Disasters and other emergencies recognize no borders. The fire service must think globally, using recognized best practices in every facet of operations. Our goal is to share as much knowledge and expertise as possible with Michal. In return, we benefit from his knowledge and expertise,” said Kistner.
The internship isn’t all about work. MFD employees will show Zugaj some Texas hospitality when he is off-duty. This year, two former program interns Mateusz Cizewski and Tomasz Gizicki visited and enjoyed the sights of McKinney again.
McKinney, Texas, is unique by nature. The city is #1 on the list of Best Places to Live in America, published by Money Magazine. McKinney has a current population of more than 162,000. Established in 1848, the city is located 30 miles north of Dallas and is the county seat of Collin County. McKinney offers award-winning schools, a vibrant historic downtown, diverse housing options, a robust economy and a uniquely beautiful natural setting, with rolling hills and lush trees.