JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ark. — A Jefferson County first responder’s death is reminding people across the county the difference he made during his life.

This week, John Badgley of Jefferson County died of cancer after 26 years of working for Emergency Ambulance Service, Inc.

“Being a first responder, it can really get to you over time and for the amount of years that he’s done it, he still carried himself with a sense of humor, without a bitterness about what he sees every day,” said Jefferson County Captain John Bean.

Captain Yohance Brunson said they are also sending condolences to Badgley’s wife.

“His wife works with us, it’s just a family atmosphere so when he became sick it touched us all.”

Badgley served 26 years in emergency service, with his last ten being in operational management, according to Sheriff Lafayette Woods.

“I think more and more from law enforcement onto first responders, it’s getting more and more difficult at times, but it’s still an honorable job to have,” Bean said.

Back in 2020, Woods said two paramedics were shot while responding to a call. Both survived.

“You never think something like that would happen, but sure enough, it did happen,” Brunson said. “It was a lesson learned from that incident.”

Badgley stepped up after that shooting to make a difference after that shooting, playing a part in Senate Bill 467 passing and becoming law in the 2021 legislative session in Arkansas.

“Something positive from it.. it made awareness of how dangerous it is for emergency personnel,” Brunson said.

The bill allows Emergency Medical Technicians to carry a concealed handgun without a concealed handgun license, and wear ballistic vests while responding to calls.

“That’s the difficulty in some of the things that change because something has to happen before you even think about it,” Bean said.

Both Brunson and Bean agree Badgley’s impact goes beyond the physical assistance he provided during his time serving Jefferson County.

“I think he cared not only about healing people that had wounds that could be seen, but even the wounds that couldn’t be seen,” Bean said.