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Fallen Independence police officer's impact felt in Northland fire department

Posted at 3:47 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 18:21:48-04

GLADSTONE, Mo. — A Gladstone fire station is remembering an Independence police officer killed in the line of duty.

While in high school, Blaize Madrid-Evans interned at Gladstone Fire Station #1 through Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies, a high school program for students in the Northland.

Shawn Rulon, battalion chief of Gladstone's Emergency Medical Services Division, said Madrid-Evans first made an impression at the firehouse with his first name but quickly developed a long-lasting impression with his work ethic.

"Quickly he was on the calls with us, they put him to work. A lot of times, we didn't have to ask," Rulon said. "He would carry the bags. He just kind of knew what to do. You could tell he was a smart thinking kid."

Rulon said Madrid-Evans aspired to be a Navy Seal, not a firefighter. However, he said the young man used his experience with the fire department as part of his plan to accomplish his goals — a quality Rulon said served Madrid-Evans well in the future.

"He's everything you would want in a police officer," Rulon said. "I know there's been a lot of cries for changes in the last few years, but he had every single thing. Integrity, confidence, charismatic, he was thoughtful."

Rulon said the department is saddened by the 22-year-old's death and extends condolences to his family and the Independence Police Department.

The department is planning a long-lasting tribute to Madrid-Evans at Fire Station #1.