Mississippi Fire Chief Dies at Brush Fire

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Fire Chief Bill Matthews, 73, of the Bassfield Volunteer Fire Department on February 14, 2017.

Fire Chief Matthews was found unconscious in the driver’s seat of the fire apparatus he was operating on the scene of a brush fire working to protect a nearby church. According to news reports, when another firefighter on a hoseline asked the Chief to reposition the apparatus, there was no response. Fire Chief Mathews was immediately removed from the truck, given CPR, and then transported to Jefferson Davis Community Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. According to a statement from the Coroner, the nature of fatal injury was a massive heart attack.  

Tribute is being paid to Fire Chief Matthews at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/

To date, 10 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2017.  Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/ff_fatality_reports.html


Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

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