BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. — A 41-year-old firefighter in Bartow County died following “complications” during a training exercise, according to the Bartow County Fire and Emergency Services Facebook page.
The agency said Matthew Smith died around 5 p.m. on March 16 from “complications of an apparent medical incident” during training.
First responders performed CPR for more than an hour, and while they were able to get his heartbeat back at the hospital, Smith’s sister said he coded several times, before he ultimately died.
Smith’s sister said he leaves behind a 13-year-old son and another 22-year-old child whom he took in.
She told 11Alive she wants the public to know that the Bartow County fire department has been the “biggest blessing” and they are not to blame for what happened.
“I have never met so many people that genuinely love someone like they do,” she wrote. “This was clearly God’s way. Everybody kept telling us it could not have been a better scenario because EMS was on scene already, since they were training.”
In their post on Facebook, the fire department aske for everyone to keep the Smith family and the department in their prayers during this “difficult time.”
Funeral arrangements for Matthew Smith
Family shared the following information for a visitation and celebration of life service that would follow:
Sunday, March 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Owen Funeral Home
12 Collins Dr.
Cartersville, Georgia 30120
Celebration of life service immediately after at 2:00 p.m.