Indianapolis firefighter dies after having chest pain when responding to call

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis Fire Department firefighter died Saturday after complaining of chest pain while responding to a call on Friday.

IFD Engineer Matthew Bennett, 49, had worked for Franklin Township Fire since 1997 and joined IFD in 2010 when the departments merged.

He was driving Engine 1 on Friday morning and arrived at the scene of a possible structural collapse in the 5400 block of Brendan Park Way around 10:15 a.m. prepared to assess the damage to the structure. Shortly after that, the commanding crew at the scene was told Bennett was complaining of chest pain and being checked by emergency medical personnel already at the scene, IFD said.

Bennett was taken to Heart Hospital at Community Hospital North, arrived at 10:55 a.m. and was immediately taken into surgery, IFD said. Despite life-saving efforts, Bennett died Saturday afternoon surrounded by his family, IFD said. Bennett is survived by a wife, daughter, stepdaughter, stepson and three grandchildren.

Before he joined Franklin Township fire, Bennett served as a Wayne Township reserve firefighter from 1982-2003, as well as an IFD dispatcher and an EMT with Wishard, IFD said.

“Our hearts are broken,” Battalion Chief Rita Reith wrote in a Saturday news release.

More information about services for Bennett will be forthcoming, pending the family’s wishes, IFD said.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett on Saturday afternoon released this statement:

“I’m deeply saddened by the death of IFD Engineer Matthew Bennett. Matt has bravely served our city for more than two decades, first with the Franklin Township Fire Department, and since 2010 with the men and women of IFD. He was a true public servant, dedicated to ensuring the continued safety of our community.

Steph and I send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and fellow firefighters, as all of Indianapolis joins in mourning this loss.”

Hogsett also called upon state and local officials to join him in flying flags at half-staff in remembrance of IFD Engineer Matthew Bennett, his office said in an email.