Los Angeles Fire Department Names Dispatch Center to Honor Fallen Fire Captain Matthew G. McKnight

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) dedicated the Metropolitan Fire Communications (MFC) Dispatch Floor in the name of fallen LAFD Captain Matthew G. McKnight.  A dedication ceremony on Friday was held to honor Captain McKnight’s contributions to the Communication Center and to the citizens of Los Angeles.  In addition to re-naming the floor in Captain McKnight’s name, Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti honored five other members who died while on active duty and assigned to the Department’s dispatch section.

Captain Matthew G. McKnight, was on-duty overseeing the dispatch operations center on August 12, 2013, when he collapsed suddenly and died.  Captain McKnight faithfully served the citizens of Los Angeles for over 31 years.  He passed away at the young age of 51 from a duty-related medical condition.  Captain McKnight served for nearly 10 years at MFC.  He was admired and greatly respected by those that worked with him and for him.  His on-duty death deeply impacted the hearts and minds of the members assigned to MFC.  Captain McKnight left behind his wife Sylvia, his now 16-year-old daughter Lauren, and 14-year-old son Matthew. 

The LAFD dispatch center acts as a primary and secondary point of contact for citizens reporting emergencies.  During the early morning hours of February 28, 2012, 9-1-1 call taking and resource dispatching moved locations from the Operations Control Division (OCD) at City Hall East to the new Metropolitan Fire Communications (MFC) facility at 500 E. Temple St.

MFC provides operational and management support to emergency incidents, gathers intelligence, manages emergency public information and coordinates the vital resource coverage of fire and rescue units throughout the city.  Daily staffing consist of 26 sworn firefighter/dispatchers and four officers assigned on-duty that process and manage of nearly 2,500 calls a day.

In coordination with the dedication ceremony, MFC has developed a Master Plan to educate the public on the rich history of the LAFD.  MFC is routinely visited by people of the global community interested in learning more about the LAFD, its dispatch center and its vibrant history.  The enhancement project includes the placement of historical photos and two display cabinets showcasing historical memorabilia and Captain McKnight’s personal gear.  The project will continue to develop over the next year and will include an interactive virtual display.


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