LINCOLN PARK — Mona Markabani is the first Arab American, the second woman and the youngest person to join the Lincoln Park Fire Department.
“It’s definitely a challenge, but an exciting one,” said Markabani, 24, who lives in Dearborn Heights with her husband. “I have a lot to learn. I’m learning something new and different daily. My colleagues are very supportive.”
Born in Germany to Lebanese parents, Markabani moved to Dearborn when she was a toddler. During an assembly at Miller Elementary School, a female firefighter spoke about her job, which inspired Markabani to pursue this career path at the age of 7.
“I didn’t know women could be firefighters’” she said. “I really didn’t. It was very inspirational. That really stuck with me. I was like, ‘I’m so doing that.’”
A 2009 graduate of Fordson High School, Markabani earned her associate’s degree in Applied Science/Paramedic from Henry Ford College in 2014. During her time at HFC, she was the chairwoman of the Paramedic Program’s Hospitality Committee and held the first emergency medical services bake sale, which raised $100 that was donated to the Dearborn Fire Department Burn Drive.
After graduating from HFC, Markabani attended the Schoolcraft College Fire Academy in Livonia, where she was the first Arab American female guidance officer. She graduated from Schoolcraft in late 2014.
Markabani was sworn in to the LFPD on July 16. Prior to joining the LFPD, Markabani worked as an emergency medical technician and paramedic for HealthLink in Taylor.
“You have to prove yourself and constantly be at the top of your game,” she said.
Markabani works 24-hour shifts. Her routine is checking the gear and equipment, firetruck maintenance, training and drills, studying maps of the city and daily cleaning.
She eventually wants to inherit her own command, rising to the rank of captain, and would like to return to HFC to teach.
“Mona is an amazing young woman and I am proud to call her a graduate,” said Shannon Bruley, HFC Emergency Services Program director. “She is an inspiration to women who want to achieve their goals, no matter what the goal may be.
“The LPFD is fortunate to have her as a part of their professional firefighting team and the city of Lincoln Park has another priceless asset.”