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LAFD captain dies after on-duty collapse

City News Service | 8/12/2013, 12:55 p.m.
Fire Captain/Paramedic Matthew G. McKnight, 51, a 31 year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department assigned to LAFD Metropolitan Fire Communications died at an area hospital following an on-duty collapse August 12, 2013. Los Angeles Fire Department

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A Los Angeles Fire Department dispatch supervisor collapsed today at the LAFD’s Metropolitan Fire Communications Center and died at a hospital, authorities said.

LAFD Capt. Matthew McKnight, 51, was found unresponsive inside the facility at 500 W. Temple St. at 1:07 a.m., and he died at County-USC Medical Center, LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

“Los Angeles firefighters discovered (him) after his unwitnessed collapse,” Humphrey said. McKnight was last seen about 12:55 a.m. near the end of a five-hour watch, he said.

“Despite an exhaustive effort by colleagues who immediately performed CPR, applied a defibrillator and instituted advanced life-support measures, Capt. McKnight proved beyond medical help ...”

The cause of death will be determined by an autopsy, Humphrey said.

McKnight, a 31-year veteran of the LAFD, lived in Thousand Oaks and is survived by his wife, a teenage daughter, a pre-teen son and two brothers, both of whom work for the fire department, Humphrey said.