Hickory Fire Department Battalion Chief Retires

HICKORY, NC (March 1, 2022) – Congratulations to Battalion Chief Cates on his retirement.

Mike Cates has retired as a member of the Hickory Fire Department. Prior to employment with the City of Hickory, Cates attended Western Carolina University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1990. He began his career with the Hickory Fire Department on September 23, 1991.

Through the years, he proudly worked every shift position, which consisted of Firefighter, Senior Firefighter, Engineer, Captain, and Battalion Chief.  Cates is certified as a level I and II firefighter through the North Carolina Fire & Rescue Commission and as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) through the North Carolina Office of Emergency Services. Cates has completed training in many areas including fire apparatus, hazardous materials certification operations level, and technical rescue.  He has been certified as a level II Fire Service Instructor since 1998 and is very active teaching fire certification and specialty classes throughout the region. He has completed the North Carolina Fire Officer level II certification.

In March 2017, he was promoted to Battalion Chief and in 2018, Cates was selected and presented with the Elk’s Firefighter of the Year award. Cates has also served as a volunteer member of the Long View Fire Department since 1993, and currently serves as a Captain.

Mike and his wife, Jennifer live in Hickory, and they have three children: Drew, Collin, and Jenna.

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