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Matthew Brian Smith


On Thursday, March 16, 2023, Bartow County Fire and 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 6 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.

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

Department information

Bartow County Fire & Emergency Services
5435 Covenant Drive NE
Cartersville, Georgia 30121

Chief: Billy Ward

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

Last updated: April 25, 2023