First Responder of the Year
Leschke selected for state Assembly award
By Angie Landsverk
Brandon Leschke is the 40th Assembly District’s First Responder of the Year.
State Rep. Kevin Petersen presented the award to him Thursday, Oct. 10, on the Assembly floor.
“There are over 20,000 first responders in Wisconsin,” Petersen said.
The State Assembly recognized one from each of the 99 Assembly districts.
“This is the first time it’s being done,” Petersen said.
Leschke is sergeant of the Weyauwega Police Department and also an assistant fire chief with Weyauwega’s fire department.
“It’s an honor. I don’t think about what I do. I just do it,” he said. “I just enjoy being part of the community. You have to be part of it if you want it to grow and succeed. People need to step up and guide it, help mold it.”
Petersen sought nominations from throughout the 40th Assembly District.
“We took all the data we got back,” he said.
Staff removed the names of those nominated and other pertinent information before the nominations were evaluated.
Petersen said they looked at what each individual has done.
“Brandon was chosen for the 40th Assembly,” he said.
Career in law enforcement
Leschke grew up in Manawa and decided to consider a career in law enforcement after several conversations with Gerald Poltrock, Weyauwega’s police chief.
Poltrock knew Leschke was interested in public service.
Leschke completed his training at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
He was then hired as a part-time Weyauwega police officer and promoted to a full-time officer in 2005.
Nominated by police chief
Poltrock nominated Leschke for the First Responder of the Year Award.
“Although I could tell you about the person he saved by entering a burning home, lifesaving medical attention he has provided and so on, I won’t,” Poltrock wrote. “Sgt. Leschke is unique in that he always has the citizens and community that he serves in mind both at work and on personal time.”
He said Leschke has become an expert in various aspects of law and firefighting.
That includes being a trainer and drone pilot.
“Sgt. Leschke really shines under pressure and is able to remain calm and collected. During the storms that affected central Wisconsin this summer, he successfully ran the Incident Command that included the Weyauwega Police and Fire departments, Weyauwega Public Works and many private contractors that were providing emergency services to people in their time of need,” Poltrock wrote.
He said, “It truly is remarkable to see him work. His defining character is that he puts the community first. He will stop and help even if he is not working. He always puts the image of the city first and foremost and the citizens know it.”
Letter of support
City Administrator Jeremy Schroeder also wrote a letter of support.
“He has an excellent rapport with all citizens, agencies, staff and community guests he comes in contact with,” Schroeder said. “He is very approachable, open minded, positive, a team player and places the community and citizens at the forefront of every decision and action.”
Schroeder also noted Leschke serves on scholarship committees, event planning committees, regularly attends city committee meetings and takes care of the landscaping at a church.
Leschke and his wife Kristi have two sons.
They were in Madison with him on Thursday.
Other family members also attended the ceremony, as well as Poltrock and Schroeder.
“I have a lot of support from my family,” Leschke said in explaining how he balances everything. “They understand it.”
Petersen said he wants to highlight all the first responders in the district.
He appreciates what they do on a daily basis.