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Scholarship named in honor of slain Minn. SWAT FF/medic

The Adam Finseth Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to students majoring in the Emergency Medicine Paramedic or Emergency Medicine Technology programs


ROCHESTER, Minn. — A new emergency medicine scholarship at Rochester Community and Technical College honors fallen firefighter-paramedic Adam Finseth who was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 18, 2024.

Finseth, a Rochester native who attended RCTC, trained on water rescues, helped with the fire department’s wellness program and served as a SWAT EMT in Burnsville. He graduated from John Marshall High School in 2001. He also served in the U.S. Army as well as a firefighter and paramedic in Hastings and Savage.

“After his military service, Adam he earned his Fire Science and Paramedic degrees and served as a firefighter and medic in various locations. Adam joined the Burnsville Fire Department in 2019 where he planned to finish out his career,” the RCTC Foundation said in a Facebook post on Friday.

Burnsville police officers Matthew Ruge and Paul Elmstrand, both 27, were shot and killed while responding to the domestic violence call in Burnsville on Feb. 18.

[RELATED: 2 Minn. police officers, 1 medic killed during domestic call identified]

Ruge was a 2015 Wabasha-Kellogg High School graduate.

“To say that our family is devastated at the loss of our Adam is an understatement. We are broken. Our children will grow up without their ‘papa,’” Adam’s wife Tara Finseth said in a statement on Feb. 25 . “Although our forever hero is no longer with us, his soul will live on through me, his children, family, friends, and community. We know he is by our side every day until we meet again in heaven. On behalf of our family, thank you for the overwhelming and heartwarming support during this very difficult time.”

As the community continues to support the Finseth family, friends of the family created the scholarship. The scholarship is for returning, transferring or graduating students majoring in the emergency medicine parademic or emergency medicine technology program.

For more information on giving to the memorial scholarship fund, visit

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