‘American Pickers’ Star Mike Wolfe Speaks on Being a Firefighter and City Councilman in Iowa

by Kati Michelle
(Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images)

Two days away from its Season 5 premiere, a lot of Outsiders’ minds are on “9-1-1” and its emergency personnel crews. The show features all aspects of emergency response teams from dispatch to the hospital. While not all firefighters are also professionally licensed as paramedics, many of them at least hold an EMT license.

What’s more, it turns out that many of the stars we all know and love actually found themselves directly involved in the firefighter scene before finding fame. Steve Buscemi, for example, spent many years as a firefighter and even returned to volunteer with other firefighters at Ground Zero on 9/11. Even the “American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe spent some of his career as both a firefighter and city councilman back in Iowa. He recounted the experiences to The Tennessean and we’ve got all the details.

Mike Wolfe on His Community Involvement

Before stepping into his role as a celebrity antiques dealer, Mike Wolfe lived a pretty different life. The 51-year-old called Le Claire, Iowa home long before ever considering residency in Tennessee. For a while, he served as a Le Claire volunteer firefighter and made this work his priority. However, when the fire department desperately needed funding for a new ladder truck, Wolfe decided to take matters into his own hands.

Instead of fundraising on his own, he decided to be part of actionable change and run for city council after attending his very first city council meeting. When describing its climate, he had the following to say: “It was like a street brawl! There was some land dispute, and it was packed in that room. I couldn’t even sleep that night!”

With the help of his firefighter buddies, Mike Wolfe gained over 400 votes. This put him in the position to beat a lawyer for an open council seat. His experience from then on was nothing but positive. Speaking on the matter, Wolfe said:

“People there were like family to me…All of a sudden, you feel like you’re part of something.”

More About His Hometown

Known as a “quaint river town,” Le Claire, Iowa holds quite the charm for its location and size. What does it have to offer?

From riverboat cruises to natural and wildlife photography, it’s no wonder Mike Wolfe proudly reps his roots. There’s even a Vineyard and Winery in town. Other attractions of the Quad Cities’ member include the Buffalo Bill Museum and a whole community heavily involved in “antique archaeology.” That last one makes a lot of sense given Mike’s career change into the field himself.

What do you think, would you give Le Claire, Iowa a chance? Take a look at this video shared by the city before you decide: