MFD Members Named 'First Responders of the Year'

First responders from around the state gather at the front of the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Fourteen members of the Madison Fire Department were named "First Responders of the Year" at a recognition event hosted in the Wisconsin State Assembly this week. At the third annual event, state representatives nominated first responders from their home districts to receive this distinct honor.

"We owe you all our utmost respect and gratitude for your selfless service and sacrifice," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in address on the Assembly floor. "Through these awards, we aim to express our appreciation, on behalf of our entire state, to all first responders, even those who are not honored here today."

Firefighter/Paramedic Ruth Savard was recognized by Representative Melissa Ratcliff (D, 46th Assembly District) for being an asset to the Madison Fire Department; for choosing to serve her community to build trust between the community and first responders while subsequently demonstrating determination, service, and passion for her community and all of the first responder community; and for being a cancer survivor currently battling her second round of stage 4 cancer while continuing to serve her community.

State Representative Samba Baldeh (D, 48th Assembly District) honored Firefighter/Paramedic Jon Frank for outstanding contributions to the community and exceptional service with the MFD for over two decades, for being a mentor to numerous paramedic students and significantly enhancing the quality of paramedic care in Madison, and for helping raise the standard of pre-hospital care through his service as a CPR instructor.

The Madison CARES team was nominated by State Representative Francesca Hong (D, 76th Assembly District). Ten CARES members were recognized for being "an asset to the Madison community since its inception in 2021," recognizing their work responding to non-violent behavioral health emergencies in the community. The CARES team was also credited for "working innovatively to make our society safer."

Lieutenant Sue Juedes and Firefighter/EMT Chelsea Utzerath-Juedes were recognized for their lifesaving actions, taken while off duty, to perform CPR on someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Lt. Juedes and Firefighter/EMT Utzerath-Juedes were nominated by the survivor through the office of State Representative Shelia Stubbs (D, 77th Assembly District).

At the event, Tuesday, October 17, 2023 was declared "First Responders Day" in the state of Wisconsin.

Congratulations to all MFD members who were honored, and a sincere thank you to all personnel who serve our community with dedication every single day!

Representative Melissa Ratcliff with Firefighter/Paramedic Ruth Savard.
Rep. Melissa Ratcliff with Firefighter/Paramedic Ruth Savard
Firefighter/Paramedic Jon Frank with Representative Samba Baldeh.
Firefighter/Paramedic Jon Frank (center) with Rep. Samba Baldeh (right)
Representative Francesca Hong with the CARES team.
Rep. Francesca Hong (center) with the CARES team
Representative Shelia Stubbs with Lieutenant Sue Juedes and Firefighter/EMT Chelsea Utzerath-Juedes.
Rep. Shelia Stubbs (center) with Lt. Sue Juedes (left) and Firefighter/EMT Chelsea Utzerath-Juedes (right)

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison Fire Department.

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