Posts Tagged Firefighter Lawrence Matthews

Dolton Fire Department news – LODD (more)

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Dolton Firefighter Lawrence Matthews, who died in the line of duty in June 2017, will be recognized during the 37th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Oct. 7. He is one of 80 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2017 who will be honored in Emmitsburg, Md.

Matthews died after collapsing while assisting during a fire at a mobile home park in Harvey. He had served on the Dolton Fire Department since 2009, and is survived by his wife and four children.

Although Matthews was on light duty due to medical issues, he had been cleared to return to work and fight fires. Matthews died just days after celebrating the 10th anniversary of his heart transplant.

There is a plaque at the Dolton fire station in tribute to Matthews. There is also a street in the village named in his honor.

At the national memorial, the names of Matthews and the other fallen firefighters will be read as their families receive an American flag that has been flown above the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial and the U.S. Capitol. Family members will also be presented with a red rose and a personalized badge. During the ceremony, a bronze plaque bearing the names of the fallen will be officially added to the memorial.

The service begins at 9 a.m. (Central Daylight Time) Oct. 7 at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg. The firefighters will also be remembered in a candlelight service at 5:30 pm. (CDT) Oct. 6 at the same location.

“Memorials are created so there will always be a special place to remember and honor our loved ones. In 1981, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was created to pay tribute to these men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Dennis Compton, chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Board of Directors. “Everyone who visits the memorial pauses to not only honor the fallen firefighters, but to also honor the strength and courage of their loved ones.”

Members of the Congressional Fire Service Caucus will present 103 American flags that were flown over the U.S. Capitol to the NFFF during a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. (CDT) Oct. 4 in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building. The flags will be displayed in the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel until the memorial service on Oct. 7 when they will be presented to the families.

More than 5,000 people, including family, friends, firefighters, members of Congress and administration officials are expected to attend the Oct. 7 service. Firefighter honor guards and pipe & drum units from across the United States will participate in the national remembrance.

NFFF will provide a satellite feed and streaming of ceremonies along with video of events for downloading, courtesy of VISTA Worldlink.

For memorial weekend streaming information, go to

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Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Medal of Honor awards ceremony

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Firefighters from across Illinois gathered in Springfield Tuesday to remember fallen firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Firefighters John “Mike” Cummins of the Homer Fire Protection District and Lawrence Matthews from the Village of Dolton Fire Department were honored for their heroic sacrifice during the 25th Annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Firefighting Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony. Their families were presented with the Duty Death Gold Badge by Fire Marshal Matt Perez.

Two firefighters were also presented with The Medal of Honor award during the ceremony. It’s the highest award given to firefighters by the state of Illinois. Lt. Eric Schrage from the Collinsville Fire Department and Paramedic Todd Zobrist from the Highland Fire Department/EMS were selected for demonstrating selflessness and personal courage above and beyond the call of duty.

Nine firefighters were honored with the Medal of Valor award. It is given by the state of Illinois to a firefighter for an act of heroism or bravery that clearly demonstrated courage and dedication in the face of danger while in the performance of duty. Recipients include:

• Capt. Daniel Whiteside, Alton Fire Department

• Firefighter Aaron Pihl, Belvidere Fire Department

• Lt. Shawn Schadle, Belvidere Fire Department

• Firefighter Jeff Vaughan, Belvidere Fire Department

• Firefighter Eric Claudio, Chicago Fire Department

• Lt./EMT John O’Brien, Chicago Fire Department

• Firefighter/Paramedic Andrew Hoff, Downers Grove Fire Department

• Firefighter/Paramedic Scott Sohn, Downers Grove Fire Department

• Firefighter/Paramedic Quinn Triplett, Downers Grove Fire Department

Fourteen firefighters received the Firefighter Excellence Award for an act of service in the line of duty, demonstrating excellence and professionalism in service to the citizens of the state of Illinois. Recipients include:

• Firefighter Mark Beck, Belvidere Fire Department

• Firefighter James Kriebs, Belvidere Fire Department

• Firefighter Jason Swanson, Belvidere Fire Department

• Firefighter Nicolas Thornton, Belvidere Fire Department

• Captain Mark Zumbragel, Belvidere Fire Department

• Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Covelli, Downers Grove Fire Department

• Firefighter/Paramedic Kevin Schrader, Downers Grove Fire Department

• Paramedic Ty Barr, Highland Fire/EMS

• Firefighter Ben Bentley, Peru Fire Department

• Firefighter Alex Duncan, Peru Fire Department

• Lt. Neil Nadolski, Peru Fire Department

• Engineer Kris Ayers, Wood River Fire Department

• Engineer Bill Hall, Wood River Fire Department

• Firefighter Jamie Wells, Wood River Fire Department

In addition, six units received the Firefighter Excellence “Teamwork Unit Citation” Awards for an act of service in the line of duty, demonstrating excellence, teamwork, and professionalism in service to the citizens of the state of Illinois. Recipients include:

• Blue Island Fire Department

• Broadview Fire Department

• Chicago Heights Fire Department

• North Chicago Fire Department

• Orland Fire Protection District

• Pana Fire Department, which was recognized for its actions during a April 2, 2017, fire in the 800 block of East Second Street. The fire claimed the lives of two children, ages 2 years and 3 months. Fire officials said the cause of the April 2 blaze appeared to be electrical.

One firefighter received the Certificate of Recognition which acknowledges those nominated for their dedication to the principles and traditions of the fire service, to the state and the community, with honor and integrity.

• Firefighter/Paramedic Mark Buettner, Bolingbrook Fire Department

thanks Dan

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Dolton Fire Department news

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The date Sept. 9 always held special significance for Lawrence Matthews. It was his birthday, his first day as a Dolton firefighter and this year, it will become the day a village street is rededicated in his honor.

Dolton on Saturday will rename the portion of Park Avenue that runs past Fire Station No. 1 Firefighter Lawrence Matthews Way and unveil a plaque designed in honor of the eight-year department veteran who died in the line of duty in June.

The public ceremony, which will be attended by village officials, area firefighters and Matthews’ family and friends, starts at 12:30 p.m. in front of the fire station, 14022 Park Ave.

“We want to honor Lawrence, his wife, his kids, his entire family, and we want to be able to show that his legacy was for the community,” Dolton Fire Chief Steven McCain said. “That’s part of our mission statement — having a community orientated fire department — and Lawrence fit that bill to a ‘T’ with his own passion to the community.” He said Matthews’ death had been devastating for the Dolton fire department and questioned whether it could ever fully recover from the loss.

Matthews, a heart transplant recipient, went into cardiac arrest and died while fighting a house fire in Harvey on June 10. Matthews, who is survived by his wife Rachel, their three young kids and two stepchildren, was sworn in as a Dolton firefighter in 2009 — with the blessing of his doctors — just two years after receiving a new heart.

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Dolton Fire Department news – LODD

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Lawrence Matthews died doing what he loved. The dedicated Dolton firefighter collapsed Saturday afternoon while battling a fire in neighboring Harvey.

Matthews went into cardiac arrest and was taken to Ingalls Memorial Hospital, but never regained consciousness, and was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m.

Chicago and suburban police officers and firefighters saluted the ambulance carrying Matthews’ body in a solemn procession to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Matthews, 35, was a husband and father of four, who had been with the Dolton Fire Department since 2009.

Dolton firefighters had been called in to assist the Harvey Fire Department on Saturday, after multiple mobile homes caught fire near 150th and Maplewood. Officials said Matthews was on the sidewalk after arriving at the scene when he went into cardiac arrest.

Matthews was a heart transplant recipient who had defied the odds to become a firefighter. Just two years after he received his new heart at the University of Chicago Hospital, Matthews became a firefighter with the blessing of his doctors.

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An autopsy of a Dolton firefighter who died in the line of duty was performed Sunday, but a determination for the cause of his death was still pending, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Firefighter Lawrence Matthews, 35, of Glenwood, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest after battling a blaze at a mobile home Saturday in Harvey. He was transported to Ingalls Memorial Hospital, and pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m.

Matthews was the recipient of a heart transplant in 2007 at the University of Chicago Hospital. Doctors approved his working as a firefighter after he passed a physical, and in 2009 he was sworn in.

The mobile home near 150th Street and Rockwell Avenue was destroyed in the fire. 

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