Born: July 13, 1962
Appointed LAFD: May 3, 1982
Died: August 12, 2013
On Saturday, August 24, 2013, hundreds of family members, friends and many firefighters from outside agencies joined the McKnight’s church family and Los Angeles Fire Department’s uniform detail at the Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village to pay tribute to our good friend Matt McKnight. Matt unexpectedly died while he was on duty and in command at the Metro Fire Communications Center in the early morning hours on August 12, 2013.
Matt was originally appointed to the LAFD as a single-function paramedic on May 3, 1982, and spent about four years working at various busy assignments. Then on February 2, 1986, Matt was appointed to the Firefighter Drill Tower. During his time as a firefighter, Matt worked at many locations throughout the city, but his favorite assignment was the time that was spent at Fire Station 14. The best way to describe Matt’s reputation on the job is, “he was a firemen’s fireman”.
During Matt’s career, he worked as a Peer Group Instructor at Westlake Training, he was a dispatcher back in the days of OCD and Matt was also a Staff Assistant, where he drove a few different chiefs including the Drill Master from his own Drill Tower, Battalion Chief, John Squire.
Matt was promoted to the rank of captain in 2003. When his captain’s list was published, Matt was at the top of the list in the number one position. He was a well-respected captain on our job who lead by example and provided outstanding leadership. In 2004, while assigned to the In-Service Training Section, Matt served as the department’s Paramedic Training Officer where he was instrumental in reviving our program delivery. This change greatly enhanced the number of members who volunteered to attend the training.
In March of 2007, Matt volunteered to return to OCD, this time as an officer. His prior experience as a dispatcher served him well as he quickly became a well-respected and competent Floor Captain. Matt was a calming presence on the dispatch floor, easily handling the challenging demands during busy floor operations. Matt assisted with the transition from OCD to the new facility at MFC and worked hard to bring the new facility up to fully operational status. Matt entered the DROP in July of 2012 and intended to finish his career assigned to MFC.
Matt’s dedication and commitment to what he believed in both on and off duty earned him high praise from everyone whose life he touched. He will be missed by all of us.
Matt’s daughter, Lauren, wrote a wonderful biography for the Memorial Service program, that describes her Dad perfectly…
In Loving Memory or Matthew G. McKnight
Husband, Father, Brother, Friend, Captain, and follower of Christ
My dad was born on July 13, 1962 to Raymond and Karen McKnight. He was a loving bro-ther to my aunts Margie and Maureen, and my uncles Mike, Marty and Mitch. He was a proud Crespi Celt who valued his friendships, loved his family, the outdoors, and country music. He married Sylvia Reyes on February 03, 1996. His firstchild, Lauren, was born on June 28, 1999. His second child, Matthew, was born on June 11, 2001.
He spent 31 years of his life serving others by working Los Angeles Fire Department and touching the hearts of many. Although my dad leaves behind many dear loved ones, we know that he would not want us to mourn, but instead look forward to the dayto once again see him face to face. We love you Dad, you’ll always have a place in our hearts. You’ll always be my hero.
“There are no bad days, just some are better than others.” – Matthew G. McKnight