Firefighter Fatalities, Health & Safety

Indianapolis Firefighter Passes Away After Falling Ill

Indianapolis Fire Department Engineer Matthew D. Bennett
Photo courtesy Indianapolis Fire Department

An Indianapolis firefighter passed away over the weekend after complaining of feeling ill while on the job, according to reports.

The U.S. Fire Administration reported that on November 13, 2020, Fire Engineer Matthew Bennett, 49, drove Engine 1 to a possible structural collapse after a car drove into a home. Upon his arrival and as crews began to work, Bennett complained to the EMS Duty Officer on scene that he was experiencing chest pains. The EMS Duty Officer escorted Bennett to an ambulance to be evaluated. Bennett was then transported to a hospital and immediately taken into surgery. Despite all efforts, however, Bennett passed away the following afternoon. The nature and cause of fatal injury are still to be determined.

According to the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD), Engineer Bennett’s first involvement with the IFD came in the late 70s when he was a frequent visitor to Station 33 where one of his relatives, a retired lieutenant, was the officer on Squad 3 C-shift. He was only 9 or 10.

His first “official” involvement with IFD came in 1984 when he joined the IFD Explorer Post. He remained with the Post until turning 18 and served as the Chief of the Post for two years. 

He was a Cadet at Wayne Township during his teens and upon turning 18 in 1989 became an active volunteer firefighter. He became a reserve when Wayne went paid.  He remained a Reserve with Wayne until 2003.

Engineer Bennett was appointed to Franklin Township fire department on December 1, 1997 and joined the IFD family when Franklin Twp. merged with IFD in July 2010.  Engineer Bennett was assigned to IFD Engine 1, B Shift.  

Prior to his appointment in 1997, Engineer Bennett was also an IFD Dispatcher and a Wishard EMT.  He was a veteran firefighter of 23 years and a dedicated public safety servant of 38 years.

He is survived by his wife, Carlita Bennett, daughter Samantha, stepdaughter Allie Brouwer, stepson Chandler Brouwer, and three grandchildren, Grace, Gwen, and William Jr. 

A procession was slated for Monday, November 16, 2020, where Engineer Bennetts’ body would be transported from Community North Hospital to Crown Hill Cemetery