Mike Szafarowicz writes and performs to benefit first responders

Mike Szafarowicz has been a full-time firefighter/paramedic for 22 years in Sylvania Ohio. In addition to his career as a first responder, he has also always been a musician. Since the age of 8 he has taken professional drum lessons, but as of 2 years ago he decided to pick up a guitar and teach himself. Over his many years as a musician/performer, Mike played drums for numerous bands around the area. When Mike was 22 years old, he made the decision to pursue his career as a firefighter and put his music on the back burner. “Music is great and all, but I chose to stick with the firefighter role because it’s the best job you could ask for and it’s a secure job.” Mike states.

When Mike started back in the local music scene, he played percussion for his two friends who play guitar. This really gave him the boost he was looking for and reignited his passion for music. Before long Mike thought how cool it would be to do solo gigs and perform on his own. Being a drummer, “that’s kind of hard to do.” Mike states. As he always had interest in other musical instruments, he decided to pick up the guitar and teach himself. 6 months later, he was doing solo shows in the area. Before he knew it, he was getting calls to perform at many different venues and events around the area.

When Mike was asked about his recent popularity and demand in the area Mike simply replied “Wow”. “It’s hard to believe, this happened so fast, I never would have thought I would actually be doing this and be getting paid to do this”. This has been a welcome change for Mike. He believes this is exactly what he needed to take his mind off of “work” every now and then. “When I am on stage, everything else goes away! I am able to relax, have fun and entertain people. If I see a couple smiles in the crowd, I know I did my part. I contributed to that person’s day and maybe made them forget about their work also. That’s what its all about for me.”

A growing epidemic for first responders, is the recent uptick of first responder suicides. “I don’t think I can name a department around me that hasn’t been directly affected by this growing problem. Mike himself lost a good friend who also happened to be his Lieutenant on the fire department for which he works. “One day he just didn’t show up for work. Nobody could reach him. This was not like him at all”. Mike knew something bad had to of happened. Later they all found out the devastating news that he took his own life.

Mikes parents always encouraged him to write music. My Dad would always tell me “You have the talent to do it”. Then one day when I was practicing it just started to come to me. The events Mike had experienced started to become a song. The song is titled “If You Only Knew” and is available on all digital platforms for download and streaming. “The title of the song says a lot” Mike states. “I want people to understand what it is the Police, Fire, and all first responders see on a daily basis. It may not be one terrible thing. It could be many little things throughout their shift that affect them. Every one of us has that breaking point where it would be beneficial to get help, just to talk to someone. But many never do. They let it build and build until they can’t take anymore.” Mike hopes that his new single will help everyone, first responders as well as the citizens they serve.

Mike plays a consistent schedule of around 6-8 shows per month around the area. He enjoys playing off the crowd and having fun! He has some regular venues he performs at monthly, but also has many new additions that come up. 
Though he was featured in recently released Lifoti's September 2019 issue 09, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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