Bill Matthews, Fire Chief

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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.

Incident Location: Behind the church on Graves Keys Road in Bassfield (U.S. National Grid: 16R BV 4455 8916)

Department information

Bassfield Volunteer Fire Department
194 Gen. Robert E. Blount DR POB 100
U.S. National Grid: 16R BV 3947 8788
Bassfield, Mississippi 39421

Chief: Pending

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

Age: 73
Rank: Fire Chief
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: February 14, 2017 16:45
Date of death: February 14, 2017
Cause of death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of death: Heart Attack
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property