Local First Responders honored in Madison

Officer Darling and Firefighter Roesler honored

The State Assembly honored First Responders across the state today with Hometown Hero Awards.

Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse) and Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska) each selected local first responders from their respective districts to receive this honor by the State Assembly.

Rep. Billings recognized Officer Dustin Darling on behalf of the 95th Assembly District. Officer Darling, a member of the La Crosse Police Force, was struck by gunfire and injured in the line of duty when responding to a domestic disturbance on August 3, 2019. Displaying heroism and courage, Officer Darling protected other citizens at the scene and maintained his professional composure under the most extreme circumstances.

“I am thankful that Officer Darling serves the city of La Crosse with such distinction,” said Rep. Billings. “He truly exemplifies the spirit of service and sacrifice. It’s an honor to recognize Officer Darling as the 95th Assembly District’s First Responder of the Year.”

Rep. Doyle recognized Jerry Roesler on behalf of the 94th Assembly District. Jerry Roesler has been a firefighter at the Shelby Fire Department for the past 53 years. Jerry previously served as Captain, but stepped down five years ago when he recognized that others wanted to step up and lead. Jerry’s compassionate approach and desire to always help others is an inspiration to the entire Shelby Fire Department.

“Members of our community owe a continuous debt of gratitude to our first responders, and I am proud to honor those responders with this Hometown Hero award,” said Rep. Doyle. “As Mr. Rogers famously said, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ I firmly agree, and what’s more, I believe the helpers deserve our appreciation, and I’m proud to be a small part of that.”

The Wisconsin State Assembly’s Hometown Heroes program pays tribute to the remarkable individuals who give back to their community and work hard to make a difference. Members of the Assembly may nominate people who embody an unconditional desire to lend a helping hand to those around them from their district to receive a Hometown Hero award. Hometown Heroes are then recognized by the Assembly during a legislative session day. Today, the focus was on first responders, and 80 individuals were presented this honor

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