Badger Firefighters Association honors local heroes. By Ron Naab


May 10, 2017 – Campbellsport, WI – Crews from 27 area fire departments attended the Badger Firefighters Association [BFA] Spring Meeting and Awards Banquet at the Campbellsport Fire Station.

Honors were distributed to those who served 50 years within the fire service including Ray Wolf and Jerry Schellinger of Allenton Fire Department, Tony Montag of St. Lawrence Fire Company, Arlo Neumann of Adell Fire Department,  Bob Arndt of Random Lake Fire Department, Elroy Knepprath of Cedarburg Fire Department, and Richard Schoenfeldt of Saukville Fire Department.

The association also recognizes those individuals that served their departments and/or community above and beyond with dedication, leadership and involvement supporting others.

This year’s Emergency Medical Responder Meritorious Service Award went to Kim Gordon of the Cedarburg Fire Department with her “Excellence is our Responsibility” attitude.

The recipient for the BFA Firefighter Meritorious Service Award was presented to Ronald Eickstedt of the Jackson Fire Department for his “Give all-out Effort.”

Ron’s dedication to family and community serving as a contributing member of the Jackson community were appreciated by the selection committee.


                                                   Ron Eickstedt standing next to President Naab along with the Eickstedt Family

The West Bend had two incidents in the past 12 months that warranted recognition by the Badger Firefighters Association for heroic actions taken to prevent injury or death from a fire.

The first incident recognized occurred on September 26, 2016, when Fire Lieutenant Alan J. Hefter and Motor Pump Operator Kyle Demler, members of the West Bend Fire Department, responded to a house fire in the town of West Bend.

                                         Left to Right:  MPO Kyle Demler, Lieutenant Al Hefter and BFA President Ron Naab

Upon arrival, they were informed of an 18-year-old young lady trapped in the basement.  With this knowledge these men took appropriate lifesaving actions that the victim was safely removed from the burning house and transported to a hospital for medical care.

The second incident the city of West Bend Fire Department wanted the BFA to recognize occurred on evening of December 29, 2016.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center received of a house fire on Silver Lake Drive.  At this point they asked the city of West Bend to send the fire department and a police officer.

Police Officer Lee W. Goodman responded to the fire in the town of West Bend. Upon arrival, he found two men one a 52 years old and the other an 83 year old on a porch below the prevailing road grade.

He took immediate action to get both men to safety while the fire was coming out the door way of the house. Due to his training, willingness to give assistance and appropriate lifesaving actions the victims were safely removed from the porch of the burning house.


It is very unusual for the BFA to recognize more than one Heroic performance in one year, this year the BFA honored some very outstanding individuals involved in three different incidents.

On January 20, 2017 Police Officers Emily Neese and Matthew Caswell, members of the Saukville Police Department responded to an apartment house  fire in the village of Saukville.

Upon arrival, after evacuating the building they were informed of an individual trapped in the apartment #6.  These two officers along with retired Saukville Fire Department Captain Rick Gilson, as a team successfully rescued the individual from a smoke filled apartment.

In addition to plaques from the Badger Firefighters Association, plaques of accomplishment were presented from State Senator Dewey Strobel along with Assemblyman Rob Brooks or Jesse Kremer.

Left to Right:  Deputy Chief Kim Gordon, President Ron Naab of BFA and Ginger Kommansberger of the Senator Ron Johnson’s Office

Ginger Kollmansberger of the Senator Ron Johnson’s office also presented certificates of accomplishment to the 50 year honorees and the Meritorious Service honorees.


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