Remembering the Heroes: Honoring Paul Elmstrand, Matthew Ruge, and Adam Finseth

In the wake of the tragic events that unfolded in Burnsville on February 18, our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of three brave souls who dedicated their lives to serving and protecting our community.

Paul Elmstrand: A Legacy of Service

At just 27 years old, Paul Elmstrand’s commitment to his community was evident from the moment he joined the Burnsville Police Department in 2017 as a Community Service Officer. With his promotion to Officer in 2019, Paul continued to exemplify the values of courage and compassion in every aspect of his work. His involvement in various departmental initiatives, from the mobile command staff to the Honor Guard, reflected his unwavering dedication to his calling.

Matthew Ruge: A Voice of Reason and Resolve

Joining the Burnsville Police Department in April 2020, Matthew Ruge quickly established himself as a vital member of the force. His role in the crisis negotiations team showcased his exceptional ability to navigate challenging situations with empathy and tact. As a physical evidence officer, Matthew approached his duties with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring that justice prevailed in every case.

Adam Finseth: A Lifeline in Times of Crisis

Adam Finseth, at 40 years old, brought a wealth of experience and expertise to his role as a Burnsville Firefighter/Paramedic. Since joining the department in February 2019, Adam’s selflessness and skill have touched countless lives in moments of dire need. His service was a beacon of hope and reassurance to the community he served.

As we gather to honor the memories of Paul, Matthew, and Adam, we also extend our thoughts and prayers to Sergeant Adam Medlicott, who was injured in the line of duty. His resilience and bravery serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of our first responders.

In the face of tragedy, the solidarity and resilience of the Burnsville community shine brightly. As we come together to support the families of those we have lost and to rally around our law enforcement and first responders, let us reaffirm our commitment to one another. Let us honor the legacies of Paul, Matthew, and Adam by embracing bravery, integrity, and compassion in all that we do.

Tonight, as we gather for a vigil at Burnsville City Hall, let us find solace in each other’s presence and strength in our shared resolve to uphold the values for which our fallen heroes stood.

May their courage inspire us, their memories sustain us, and their sacrifice never be forgotten.


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