Hospital Week Profile: Mike Brady



Hospital Week Profile: Mike Brady

Mike Brady is a calm, easy-going kind of guy. As a Network Technician at CCHS, you’ll find him quietly working on computers, printers, servers, and phones throughout the building. And although his feathers never seem to ruffle, they do occasionally take to the sky. Because behind the calm exterior is an adrenaline junkie at heart.

Mike started skydiving at age 18, and after his first static line jump, he kept coming back for more. “I have about 250 jumps,” Mike said. “I like the sensation of flying, and the people I jumped with were really cool.” He quickly moved on to jumping without the static line, and recently he’s favored indoor skydiving, where he can practice his moves.

His craving for an adrenaline rush isn’t limited to jumping out of planes. On weekends, Mike has been known to drive from Atlantic to Ohio for the thrill of the rollercoasters at Cedar Point or Kings Island, or he’ll head back to his home state of Illinois to hit the rides at Six Flags Great America.

The long drives don’t bother him, which is good because his most well-known passion is storm chasing. “There were a lot of tornadoes between 5 to 10 miles from my house growing up…everything but an EF5,” said Mike.

That sparked an interest in tornadoes, and he started chasing storms in his teens. Today, when the weather’s just right, Mike will head out with cameras in tow to capture photos and videos. The biggest tornado he chased was in Coleridge, Nebraska on June 17, 2014. He has seen twin tornadoes in Pilger, Nebraska, and a rare set of three tornadoes near Dodge City.

“Stormchasing is a gamble. You bet on yourself to find the storm, you bet on yourself get there in time, you bet on the storm conditions,” he said. “It’s a rush – like hitting a jackpot.”

Over the years, he’s become part of a storm chasing community. One of the chasers he met, Scott Bennett, became Mike’s link to a career at CCHS. Scott, who also works in Information Systems, knew that Mike would be a great asset to the CCHS team. Five years later, that still holds true.

“I like to play with new technology, and this job lets me do that, like testing new antivirus products or security software,” Mike said. “It’s rewarding to find creative solutions to complex problems.”

Whether it’s technology, the newest gadgets, or K’nex (yes, the toy K’nex), Mike likes to solve the puzzle before him. At home, he has a massive collection of K’nex, and has built impressive structures like a roller coaster, ferris wheel, a bridge, planes, and more. “Sometimes I like to follow the directions, and sometimes I like to just start building things to see where it goes.”

And that’s true of a lot of what Mike does at CCHS, because every day is different for him. One day it’s fixing phones, another may be installing new computers, and the next might be cracking an unusual software issue. But that makes his job a perfect match for his love of tinkering, and the rush of a difficult problem solved.

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