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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Police Chief Richard Badgley To Be Honored In Madison

Issue Date: October 3, 2019

Peshtigo Police Chief Richard Badgley will be honored in a Hometown Hero ceremony at the State Capitol in Madison on Thursday Oct.10 as the first ever recipient of the 89th Assembly District's First "Responder of the Year" Award. Representative John Nygren was at Peshtigo City Hall Tuesday, Oct. 1 to surprise Chief Badgley with the honor. The award is to recognize first responders who work as police officers, sheriff's deputies, firefighters and EMS personnel (paramedics and EMT's).

Chief Badgley was nominated for the award by Mayor Cathi Malke. Individuals could be nominated for a variety of reasons including specific heroic actions, as significant professional achievement, their body of work over time or their length of service. In her nomination letter, Mayor Malke stated that Chief Badgley devoted his entire life to protect and serve and provide medical assistance to residents in the city of Peshtigo, while putting his life in harm's way each and every day. He has been a member of the Peshtigo Police Department for 37 years and in law enforcement for 45 years.

Malke wrote about an incident that occurred three years ago in Badger Park. In that incident Malke and her granddaughter were camping in the park during the annual Christmas in July event. Suddenly hot coals went flying by their grill at the campsite. She turned to see where the coals had come from and witnessed two campsites in which everyone was fighting. She called 911 to report the incident and with the number of people involved in the fight said to send over additional officers.

A Peshtigo Police squad car was the first on scene and the officer in it happened to be Badgley. Malke went on to say that she talked to Badgley and advised him to wait for backup, but he responded "I will be fine, but you wait back here". Within a minute of his arrival at the campsites he had defused the situation and those involved in the fight were standing there listening to him talk, never raising his voice. "Within a couple of minutes, the group parted like the red sea," Malke said.

Badgley has also used his life saving skills more than seven times to bring people back to life with CPR. Area paramedics, EMT's and members of the Emergency Rescue Squad all feel more confident when he is on duty according to Malke, who is herself a first responder and Emergency Rescue Squad member.

Malke's nomination letter went on to say that in 2018 Rick became police chief in Peshtigo and "I couldn't be prouder to have him watching over our city. I know he would be upset if he knew he was nominated for this award, because he does not look for recognition. He has touched many lives and as a city we hold him dear to our hearts".

The State Legislature will be in session on Oct. 10th when Badgley and other first responders from all the districts will be recognized. Each one will be given a citation from the State of Wisconsin, according to Nygren.


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