LAFD Captain Matthew McKnightThe Metropolitan Fire Communications Dispatch Floor is dedicated to LAFD Captain Matthew McKnight, a 31-year veteran of the Los Angeles City Fire Department who passed away suddenly in 2013 due to a duty-related medical condition.  Matt was originally appointed to the LAFD as a single-function paramedic on May 3, 1982, and spent about four years working at various busy assignments. Then on February 2, 1986, Matt was appointed to the Firefighter Drill Tower. During his time as a firefighter, Matt worked at many locations throughout the city, but his favorite assignment was the time that was spent at Fire Station 14. The best way to describe Matt’s reputation on the job is, “he was a firemen’s fireman.”

During Matt’s career, he worked as a Peer Group Instructor at Westlake Training, he was a dispatcher back in the days of OCD and Matt was also a Staff Assistant, where he drove a few different chiefs including the Drill Master from his own Drill Tower, Battalion Chief, John Squire. Matt was promoted to the rank of captain in 2003. When his captain’s list was published, Matt was at the top of the list in the number one position. Colleagues describe him as a well-respected captain who lead by example and provided outstanding leadership. In 2004, while assigned to the In-Service Training Section, Matt served as the department’s Paramedic Training Officer where co-workers say he was instrumental in reviving program delivery and enhancing the number of members who volunteered to attend the training.

In March of 2007, Matt volunteered to return to OCD, this time as an officer. His prior experience as a dispatcher served him well as he quickly became a well-respected and competent Floor Captain. Fellow firefighters say Matt was a calming presence on the dispatch floor, easily handling the challenging demands during busy floor operations. Matt assisted with the transition from OCD to the new facility at MFC and worked hard to bring the new facility up to fully operational status.

Matt’s dedication and commitment to what he believed in both on and off duty earned him high praise from everyone whose life he touched. He will be missed by all.

Unfortunately, dealing with duty-related medical conditions such as heart conditions, lung problems and cancer is all too often the reality that firefighters and their families face. When firefighters leave us too soon, the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund is there to meet the needs of the families left behind.