USFA On-Duty Death: Georgia

United States Fire Administration
23 March 2023

Earlier: Georgia Firefighter Dies, Stricken During SCBA Training

The United States Fire Administration has announced the death of Firefighter Matthew Brian Smith, 41, of Bartow County Fire & Emergency Services on 21 March 2023.

On Thursday, March 16, 2023, Bartow County Fire & Emergency Services (BCFES) Firefighter Matthew Brian Smith became unresponsive during a search and rescue training exercise at the Bartow-Cartersville Fire Joint Training Center. Instructors for the exercise with Firefighter Smith immediately recognized that he was experiencing an acute medical emergency and quickly removed him from the search maze to begin resuscitative measures. Personnel of BCFES immediately began CPR and initiated advanced cardiac life support protocols.

BCFES had an on-site ALS ambulance on standby for training and the decision was made for that unit to transport Firefighter Smith to Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center. Emergency response personnel, as well as emergency department staff, worked tirelessly to resuscitate Firefighter Smith. He did regain cardiac function and was placed on life support for six days. Regretfully, Firefighter Smith passed away on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, from complications related to his medical emergency. The cause of his death has yet to be determined.

Age: 41
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Career
Incident date: March 16, 2023 10:53 a.m.
Date of death: March 21, 2023
Cause of fatal injury: Unknown
Nature of fatal injury: Unknown
Activity type: Fitness Activity
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Training
Fixed property use: Educational

The number of on-duty deaths for 2023 currently is 16.

Go here to read the number of interior line of duty deaths for 2023.

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

For more information about on-duty deaths as recorded by the United States Fire Administration go to “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.”

Published by Data Not Drama

Data Not Drama is writings that provide a point of critical thought about firefighter fatality data and education, line of duty deaths, and risk. The main focus is to encourage less risk aversion and better knowledge on the subject of firefighter fatalities in firefighters, fire departments, and fire service organizations.

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