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Waco: ‘Battle of the Badges’ benefits family of fallen paramedic

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 3:23 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Waco police officers and firefighters are using their friendly rivalry to support a fellow first-responder who recently passed away.

Their “Battle of the Badges” event, which was originally scheduled for next month, was moved up following the death of Lindsey Garnett-Hale, a paramedic with American Medical Response.

“She’s one of our Waco AMR, so at that point, she’s a sister with all of us, so it doesn’t matter what department you are, we’re all first-responders, when they mourn we mourn with them," said Waco PD officer Janae Draper. "She gave the ultimate sacrifice, so the least we can do is do something to give back to her family.”

Garnett-Hale, 35, a single mother to a young boy, suffered a medical event while she was on-duty on Oct. 15.

Waco police officer James Sloan had never met Garnett-Hale, but after learning of her passing, he helped arrange for “Battle of the Badges” to be in her honor.

“We were working an accident and Waco fire was there, Station 4, and it just kind of started off as a little trash talk as we always do with the fire department, and that night I found out about Lindsey, and I thought it would be cool to just have the first-responders come together to honor her," said Sloan.

The event, an axe-throwing competition at Waco Axe Co., was supposed to raise money for a charity of the winners choice, however, both police and fire agreed this year the winnings would go to Garnett-Hale’s family.

Everything from the staff, to the wood, to the beer on tap--which included Brotherwell Brewing, Waco Ale Company, Bare Arms Brewing and Southern Roots Brewing--was donated for the event.

“It’s just fun, it’s a great time with everyone, but when it came time to support someone that helped support us in the local community through the EMS, we definitely were just completely on-board," said Thomas Ellis, owner of Waco Axe Co.

The event raised around $1,000.

Waco fire won, 574-479.

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