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Fire Dept. Attends Fallen Dolton Firefighter Service: Report June 11-17, 2017

Dolton Firefighter Lawrence Matthews
Dolton Firefighter Lawrence Matthews, 35, who died on Saturday, June 10, while responding to a fire in Harvey. (Photo: Village of Dolton)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- During the week of June 11-17, representatives from the Park Forest Fire Department attended the service for the fallen Dolton firefighter, Lawrence Matthews. Firefighter Matthews was a heart transplant recipient. He collapsed Saturday, June 10, while battling a fire in Harvey.

He was 35.

The PFFD had 59 responses. Of those, 16 were fire/service, 43 were EMS calls.

The department also shared the following infographic on its Facebook page. We reproduce it here and ask that readers consider it thoughtfully as we head toward July.

The rest of the report is below the graphic.

Fireworks injuries infographic,, Dolton firefighter
For more information, please visit www.nfpa.org/fireworks. (Infographic: NFPA via PFFD)

Response Activity

Two of the department’s fire investigators responded to a Fire Investigation Task Force call out to Harvey to assist in investigating the cause and origin of the fire resulting in the death of an active firefighter.

Firefighter Lawrence Matthews of the Dolton Fire Department was rushed from the scene to the hospital in apparent cardiac arrest and succumbed to his condition.

The investigation of a fire tied to a firefighter line of duty death (LODD) is a solemn and focused duty that the task force takes very seriously. Not only do they assist in the fire investigation, but they also may provide information, photos, and sketches as part of the investigation to be used in the LODD investigation.

Other Activities

On Sunday, June 11, Chief Ziegle returned from Franklin, North Carolina, where he attended a gathering to celebrate the contributions of Chief Michael Grubermann.

Chief Grubermann passed away two years ago from illness tied to cancer, which was more than likely the result of his long career in the fire service.

In addition to once being the Chief of Park Forest South/University Park, Michael Grubermann was a career member of the Park Forest Fire Department.

“With Mike’s mentorship a number of young men and women have succeeded in careers in emergency services,” the department said in its report. “This includes no less than six chiefs, captains, sergeants, lieutenants and numerous firefighters, and paramedics who can attribute at least some of their success to Michael Grubermann and his guiding hand.”

On Wednesday, June 14, Chief Ziegle and Deputy Chief Natyshok assisted in the resident appreciation barbecue by assisting to prepare and distribute hot dogs to the citizens of Park Forest. The Chiefs, along with Board Members, Commission members and other senior staff endeavored to keep the food and fun flowing despite the on again, off again rain showers.

Service for Dolton Firefighter Lawrence Matthews

On Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17, members of the Park Forest Fire Department participated in the services for Firefighter Lawrence Matthews of the Dolton Fire Department.

Members were present for the walk through and funeral, and PFFD staff who are members of the regional honor guard assisted throughout these heart wrenching duties.

“The loss of anyone as a result of a fire is a tragedy; the loss of a fellow firefighter weighs particularly heavy on the hearts and minds of the brothers and sisters of the fire service,” the department said in its report.

“May Firefighter Matthews rest in peace and may his family take heart in that his sacrifice was not in vain.”

Source: PFFD on Facebook

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